Institute of Applied Microeconomics
53113 Bonn, Germany
Institutional Affiliation: University of Bonn
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|March 2019||Memory and Representativeness|
with Pedro Bordalo, Katherine Coffman, Nicola Gennaioli, Andrei Shleifer: w25692
We explore the idea that judgment by representativeness reflects the workings of episodic memory, especially interference. In a new laboratory experiment on cued recall, participants are shown two groups of images with different distributions of colors. We find that i) decreasing the frequency of a given color in one group significantly increases the recalled frequency of that color in the other group, ii) for a fixed set of images, different cues for the same objective distribution entail different interference patterns and different probabilistic assessments. Selective retrieval and interference may offer a foundation for the representativeness heuristic, but more generally for understanding the formation of probability judgments from experienced statistical associations.