trace theory
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2021 ◽  
Peter R. Killeen ◽  
Simon Grondin

2021 ◽  
Vol 30 (2) ◽  
pp. 281-299
Petru Mironescu ◽  
Jean Van Schaftingen

Sarah A. Fisher

AbstractFraming effects occur when people respond differently to the same information, just because it is conveyed in different words. For example, in the classic ‘Disease Problem’ introduced by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, people’s choices between alternative interventions depend on whether these are described positively, in terms of the number of people who will be saved, or negatively in terms of the corresponding number who will die. In this paper, I discuss an account of framing effects based on ‘fuzzy-trace theory’. The central claim of this account is that people represent the numbers in framing problems in a ‘gist-like’ way, as ‘some’; and that this creates a categorical contrast between ‘some’ people being saved (or dying) and ‘no’ people being saved (or dying). I argue that fuzzy-trace theory’s gist-like representation, ‘some’, must have the semantics of ‘some and possibly all’, not ‘some but not all’. I show how this commits fuzzy-trace theory to a modest version of a rival ‘lower bounding hypothesis’, according to which lower-bounded interpretations of quantities contribute to framing effects by rendering the alternative descriptions extensionally inequivalent. As a result, fuzzy-trace theory is incoherent as it stands. Making sense of it requires dropping, or refining, the claim that decision-makers perceive alternatively framed options as extensionally equivalent; and the related claim that framing effects are irrational. I end by suggesting that, whereas the modest lower bounding hypothesis is well supported, there is currently less evidence for the core element of the fuzzy trace account.

2021 ◽  
Morris Moscovitch ◽  
Asaf Gilboa

We review the literature on systems consolidation by providing a brief history of the field to place the current research in proper perspective. We cover the literature on both humans and non-humans, which are highly related despite the differences in techniques and tasks that are used. We argue that understanding the interactions between hippocampus and neocortex (and other structures) that underlie systems consolidation, depend on appreciating the close correspondence between psychological and neural representations of memory, as postulated by Multiple Trace Theory and Trace Transformation Theory. We end by evaluating different theories of systems consolidation in light of the evidence we reviewed and suggest that the concept of systems consolidation, with its central concern with the time-limited role the hippocampus plays in memory, may have outlived its usefulness. We suggest replacing it with a program of research on the psychological processes and neural mechanisms that underlie changes in memory across the lifetime – a natural history of memory change.

Valerie F. Reyna ◽  
Priscila G. Brust-Renck ◽  
Rebecca B. Weldon

Everyday life is comprised of a series of decisions, from choosing what to wear to deciding what major to declare in college and whom to share a life with. Modern era economic theories were first brought into psychology in the 1950s and 1960s by Ward Edwards and Herbert Simon. Simon suggested that individuals do not always choose the best alternative among the options because they are bounded by cognitive limitations (e.g., memory). People who choose the good-enough option “satisfice” rather than optimize, because they are bounded by their limited time, knowledge, and computational capacity. Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky were among those who took the next step by demonstrating that individuals are not only limited but are inconsistent in their preferences, and hence irrational. Describing a series of biases and fallacies, they elaborated intuitive strategies (i.e., heuristics) that people tend to use when faced with difficult questions (e.g., “What proportion of long-distance relationships break up within a year?”) by answering based on simpler, similar questions (e.g., “Do instances of swift breakups of long-distance relationships come readily to mind?”). More recently, the emotion-versus-reason debate has been incorporated into the field as an approach to how judgments can be governed by two fundamentally different processes, such as intuition (or affect) and reasoning (or deliberation). A series of dual-process approaches by Seymour Epstein, George Lowenstein, Elke Weber, Paul Slovic, and Ellen Peters, among others, attempt to explain how a decision based on emotional and/or impulsive judgments (i.e., system 1) should be distinguished from those that are based on a slow process that is governed by rules of reasoning (i.e., system 2). Valerie Reyna and Charles Brainerd and other scholars take a different approach to dual processes and propose a theory—fuzzy-trace theory—that incorporates many of the prior theoretical elements but also introduces the novel concept of gist mental representations of information (i.e., essential meaning) shaped by culture and experience. Adding to processes of emotion or reward sensitivity and reasoning or deliberation, fuzzy-trace theory characterizes gist as insightful intuition (as opposed to crude system 1 intuition) and contrasts it with verbatim or precise processing that does not consist of meaningful interpretation. Some of these new perspectives explain classic paradoxes and predict new effects that allow us to better understand human judgment and decision making. More recent contributions to the field include research in neuroscience, in particular from neuroeconomics.

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