Contextual Effects in the Interpretations of Probability Words: Perceived Base Rate and Severity of Events

Elke U. Weber, Denis J. Hilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

129 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated substantial effects of context on the numerical interpretation of verbal probability statements and has attributed these effects to the perceived base-rate probability of the predicted events. These context effects are shown to be attributable to the perceived severity of the predicted event as well as to the perceived base rate. Furthermore, there is evidence for strong context effects that are not explained by either of these 2 variables. The implications of these results for the use of verbal probability statements in the communication of probability information are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-789
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 1990
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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