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On the category adjustment model: another look at Huttenlocher, Hedges, and Vevea (2000)

Sean Duffy and John Smith ()
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Sean Duffy: Rutgers University-Camden

Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, 2020, vol. 19, issue 1, No 11, 163-193

Abstract: Abstract Huttenlocher et al. (J Exp Psychol Gen 129:220–241, 2000) introduce the category adjustment model (CAM). Given that participants imperfectly remember stimuli (which we refer to as “targets”), CAM holds that participants maximize accuracy by using information about the distribution of the targets to improve their judgments. CAM predicts that judgments will be a weighted average of the imperfect memory of the target and the mean of the distribution of targets. Huttenlocher et al. (2000) report on three experiments and conclude that CAM is “verified”. We attempt to replicate the conditions in Experiment 3 from Huttenlocher et al. (2000). We analyze judgment-level data rather than averaged data. We find evidence of a bias toward a set of recent targets rather than a bias toward the running mean. We do not find evidence of learning. The judgments in our dataset are not consistent with CAM. We discuss other defects in HHV—including dividing by zero. It seems that evidence for CAM is a statistical artifact that appears when researchers analyze data averaged across trials and do not consider a recency bias.

Keywords: Judgment; Memory; Category adjustment model; Central tendency bias; Recency effects; Bayesian judgments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Working Paper: On the Category Adjustment Model: Another look at Huttenlocher, Hedges, and Vevea (2000) (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: On the Category Adjustment Model: Another look at Huttenlocher, Hedges, and Vevea (2000) (2017) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1007/s11299-020-00229-1

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