Accession Number : ADA258183

Title :   Development and Application of a Model of Individual Decision Making in Military Contexts

Descriptive Note : Annual rept. 1 Jun 1991-31 May 1992


Personal Author(s) : Smith, Edward E

Full Text :

Report Date : 22 Jul 1992

Pagination or Media Count : 4

Abstract : The research deals with the evaluation of category-based arguments, which have the form: 'Some members of of category C have property P. Therefore other (all) members of category C have property P.' We have emphasized tasks in which the categories are familiar ones, like 'lions', the properties are relatively familiar, like 'have skins that are resistant to penetration,' and the subject's task is to judge the probability that the conclusion is true given that the premises are. A sample item is: 'house cats have skins that are resistant to penetration. Therefore, lions have skins that are resistant to penetration.' In the last year, we have performed three experiments using tasks like this. Our major findings are that judged probability increases with (a) the similarity of the premise category to the conclusion category (the similarity of house cats to lions in the preceding example), and (b) the implausibility of the premise. We have developed a mathematical model of such probability judgments, which incorporates the factors of premise-conclusion similarity and premise plausibility, and which provides accurate quantitative predictions of the data. In related work, we have investigated category-based arguments that contain unfamiliar properties, such as 'has sesamoid bones.' In such case, similarity factors dominate.


Subject Categories : Humanities and History
      Operations Research

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE