Learning the Proportional Nature of Probability from Feedback

AbstractPeople make decisions based on probabilistic information every day and often use inaccurate, heuristic decision rules. Al- though a great deal of research has investigated the developmental trajectory of accurate probability judgments, very little research has investigated how the learning process unfolds. In the current study a microgenetic experimental design was de- ployed to investigate the influence of feedback on children’s probabilistic decision making strategies. Seven- to ten-year- old children (N = 50) first performed a computer-based task to assess the type of strategy they use in a probabilistic judgment task. Next, children receive feedback on a series of 24 trials and then perform a post-test consisting of the same computer- based strategy assessment. Findings revealed that some strategies may benefit from feedback more than others. These results suggest that children can learn about the proportional nature of probability from feedback alone and that the amount and type of feedback influence the learning process.

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