Intuition, interference, inhibition, and individual differences in fuzzy-trace theory

According to fuzzy trace theory, individuals rely on two memory representations of information to make judgments and decisions –verbatim representations, which are detailed and specific, and gist representations, which are meaningful and intuitive. Fuzzy trace theory posits a third process of monitoring and inhibition, which allows for improved decision making in the face of task interference. First, this chapter reviews the role of interference and intuition in judgment and decision making – particularly how output interference (i.e., verbatim interference) and interference from gist representations (e.g. reliance on compelling, intuitive stereotypes rather than relevant statistical information). Next, we discuss the role of inhibition in avoiding common judgment and decision making biases. Specifically, inhibition is reviewed through the perspectives of developmental psychology, individual differences (e.g., working memory), and neuroeconomics, highlighting converging results from each area. Finally, we discuss conditions in which inhibition fails to prevent biases in judgment and decision making.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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