Memory accessibility and probability judgments: An experimental evaluation of the availability heuristic

Colin Macleod, L. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

89 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Consistent with Tversky and Kahneman's (1973,1974) availability heuristic hypothesis, the current study found a negative correlation between recall latency for past events and the perceived future probability of similar events. Furthermore, when the relative accessibility of memories of positive and negative events was experimentally manipulated using the Velten mood-induction procedure, the perceived future probabilities of similar events also changed in a manner consistent with the availability heuristic account. Reductions in recall latencies resulting from the mood manipulations were, as predicted, related to increases in perceived probability, and vice versa. Partial correlations indicated that this association between the observed patterns of changes in recall latencies and probability judgments could not be accounted for by the existence of independent associations between each of these effects and the magnitude of mood change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume63
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1992

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