Tasks That Prime Deliberative Processes Boost Base Rate Use

AbstractObrecht and Chesney (2016) contend that deliberation supports greater base rate use. In line with this, they found that prompting deliberation by evaluating arguments about the usefulness of base rate and/or stereotype data increased subsequent use of base rates in judgment tasks. However, an alternative account of these results is that the intervention increased base rate use merely by increasing the salience of base rate information, rather than by increasing deliberation. Here we examine these accounts in two experiments. Experiment 1 showed that participants prompted to deliberate by evaluating arguments used base rates more in subsequent judgements, compared to participants who were merely reminded of relevant information. Experiment 2 showed that participants prompted to deliberate by completing math problems prior to the judgment task also increased their base rate use. Taken together, these results support the theory that tasks that prompt deliberative processes increase normative use of base rates.

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