Does thinking make you biased? The case of the engineers and lawyers problem.


In this study we examined the cognitive processes involved in engineers and lawyers-type problems, using a novel method (i.e., asking for liking ratings). We were particularly interested in how participants process information about personality descriptions and base rates, which are provided in the problems. In line with previous research, we found that people detect the conflict between descriptions and base rates. Nevertheless, when instructed to reason logically, instead of relying on base rates, participants resolved the conflict by showing higher preference for description-based responses.

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