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Guessing imagined and live chance events: adults behave like children with live events

By Elizabeth J. Robinson, J. E. C. Pendle, M. G. Rowley, S. R. Beck and Kerry L. McColgan

Abstract

An established finding is that adults prefer to guess before rather than after a chance event has happened. This is interpreted in terms of aversion to guessing when relatively incompetent: After throwing, the fall could be known. Adults (N=71, mean age 18;11, N=28, mean age 48;0) showed this preference with imagined die-throwing as in the published studies. With live die-throwing, children (N=64, aged 6 and 8 years; N=50, aged 5 and 6 years) and 15-year-olds (N=93, 46) showed the opposite preference, as did 17 adults. Seventeen-year-olds (N=82) were more likely to prefer to guess after throwing with live rather than imagined die-throwing. Reliance on imagined situations in the literature on decision-making under uncertainty ignores the possibility that adults imagine inaccurately how they would really feel: After a real die has been thrown, adults, like children, may feel there is less ambiguity about the outcome

Topics: BF
Publisher: The British Psychological Society
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:934
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