Errors in Reasoning and Decision-Making essay

Research has shown that human beings get a lot of information on daily basis. Some individuals are cognitive misers since they make decisions using low-information rationality. Other individuals use risk assessment in order to arrive at a major decision. An example of risk assessment is when one is using a new technology to make a judgment.

Base-rate fallacy occurs when a person makes judgment concerning an outcome that will happen without considering prior knowledge about the probability of its occurance. Stereotyping is another form of making judgments and forming opinions based on mental shortcuts (Matlin, 2013).

Stereotyping of things that an individual has never experienced or seen is when one can assume that everything with stems, trunks, and leaves is a tree. Such experiences allow us to make judgments without having first-hand experiences on the topics.

Anchoring and adjustment heuristic underlies intuitive judgment and judgment that is not sufficient where it is invoked to explain biases that are judgmental. Anchoring is used in making judgments on the information that first comes to the mind and adjusted until an estimate that is plausible and reached. Adjustments that are self-generated anchor insufficient values since they are terminated once a plausible value is attained (Matlin, 2013).

Recognition heuristic compares the mind to the environment which is a mental strategy that leads to effectual decision-making. Recognition heuristic acknowledges that when making inferences, people normally follow recognition. This heuristic is used adaptively and when it is compared to other cues, it has a role in decision-making (Matlin, 2013).

The top-down model of decision-making influences reasoning with the decision-making context hence affecting the judgment. An example is in the predisposition of justice where the information at hand will be used to make judgment. Top-down predisposition provides an individual with data hence the bias in the process of reasoning.


  1. Matlin, M. W. (2013). Cognition. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

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