A simple remedy for overprecision in judgment.

Published on Dec 1, 2010in Judgment and Decision Making
Uriel Haran7
Estimated H-index: 7
(CMU: Carnegie Mellon University),
Don A. Moore53
Estimated H-index: 53
(University of California, Berkeley),
Carey K. Morewedge27
Estimated H-index: 27
(CMU: Carnegie Mellon University)
Overprecision is the most robust type of overconfidence. We present a new method that significantly reduces this bias and offers insight into its underlying cause. In three experiments, overprecision was significantly reduced by forcing participants to consider all possible outcomes of an event. Each participant was presented with the entire range of possible outcomes divided into intervals, and estimated each interval's likelihood of including the true answer. The superiority of this Subjective Probability Interval Estimate (SPIES) method is robust to range widths and interval grain sizes. Its carryover effects are observed even in subsequent estimates made using the conventional, 90% confidence interval method: judges who first made SPIES judgments considered a broader range of values in subsequent conventional interval estimates as well.
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