Keith E. Stanovich (1998) Individual Differences in Cognitive Biases . Psycoloquy: 9(75) Social Bias (11)
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Psycoloquy 9(75): Individual Differences in Cognitive Biases

Commentary on Krueger on Social-Bias

Keith E. Stanovich
Department of Human Development and Applied Psychology
University of Toronto
252 Bloor St. West
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5S 1V6


Krueger is right to call for more flexible statistical methods when evaluating cognitive biases and for a consideration of individual differences. A programmatic series of studies on individual differences in rational thought (Stanovich, in press) illustrates how patterns of covariance among reasoning biases -- as well as patterns of covariance among biases and indices of cognitive ability -- can help to reveal when discrepancies between normative and descriptive models are due to performance errors, to computational limitations, and to the misapplication of normative models by experimenters. Patterns of individual differences have implications for alternative explanations of the gap between normative and descriptive models of human behavior.


Bayes' rule, bias, hypothesis testing, individual differences probability, rationality, significance testing, social cognition, statistical inference