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Conceptual and direct replications fail to support the stake-likelihood hypothesis as an explanation for the interdependence of utility and likelihood judgments

De Moliѐre, L; Harris, AJL; (2016) Conceptual and direct replications fail to support the stake-likelihood hypothesis as an explanation for the interdependence of utility and likelihood judgments. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General , 145 (4) e13-e26. 10.1037/xge0000124. Green open access

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Abstract

Previous research suggests that we systematically overestimate the occurrence of both positive and negative events, compared to neutral future events, and that these biases are due to a misattribution of arousal elicited by utility (Stake-Likelihood Hypothesis, SLH, Vosgerau, 2010). However, extant research has provided only indirect support for these arousal misattribution processes. In the present research, we initially aimed to provide a direct test of the SLH by measuring arousal with galvanic skin responses to examine the mediating role of arousal. We observed no evidence that measured arousal mediated the impact of utility on probability estimates. Given the lack of direct support for the SLH in Experiment 1, Experiments 2-5 aimed to assess the SLH by replicating some of the original findings that provided support for arousal misattribution as a mechanism. Despite our best efforts to create experimental conditions under which we would be able to demonstrate the stake-likelihood effect, we were unable to replicate previous results, with a Bayesian meta-analysis demonstrating support for the null hypothesis. We propose that accounts based on imaginability and loss function asymmetry are currently better candidate explanations for the influence of outcome utility on probability estimates.

Type: Article
Title: Conceptual and direct replications fail to support the stake-likelihood hypothesis as an explanation for the interdependence of utility and likelihood judgments
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/xge0000124
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0000124
Language: English
Additional information: This article may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
Keywords: Probability, Utility, Arousal Misattribution, Stake-Likelihood Hypothesis, Replication
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1471463
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