Data_Sheet_1_Tversky and Kahneman’s Cognitive Illusions: Who Can Solve Them, and Why?.docx (2.3 MB)
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Data_Sheet_1_Tversky and Kahneman’s Cognitive Illusions: Who Can Solve Them, and Why?.docx

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posted on 12.04.2021, 04:59 by Georg Bruckmaier, Stefan Krauss, Karin Binder, Sven Hilbert, Martin Brunner

In the present paper we empirically investigate the psychometric properties of some of the most famous statistical and logical cognitive illusions from the “heuristics and biases” research program by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, who nearly 50 years ago introduced fascinating brain teasers such as the famous Linda problem, the Wason card selection task, and so-called Bayesian reasoning problems (e.g., the mammography task). In the meantime, a great number of articles has been published that empirically examine single cognitive illusions, theoretically explaining people’s faulty thinking, or proposing and experimentally implementing measures to foster insight and to make these problems accessible to the human mind. Yet these problems have thus far usually been empirically analyzed on an individual-item level only (e.g., by experimentally comparing participants’ performance on various versions of one of these problems). In this paper, by contrast, we examine these illusions as a group and look at the ability to solve them as a psychological construct. Based on an sample of N = 2,643 Luxembourgian school students of age 16–18 we investigate the internal psychometric structure of these illusions (i.e., Are they substantially correlated? Do they form a reflexive or a formative construct?), their connection to related constructs (e.g., Are they distinguishable from intelligence or mathematical competence in a confirmatory factor analysis?), and the question of which of a person’s abilities can predict the correct solution of these brain teasers (by means of a regression analysis).

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