Neglect of Alternative Causes in Predictive but Not Diagnostic Reasoning Journal Article uri icon



  • People are renowned for their failure to consider alternative hypotheses. We compare neglect of alternative causes when people make predictive versus diagnostic probability judgments. One study with medical professionals reasoning about psychopathology and two with undergraduates reasoning about goals and actions or about causal transmission yielded the same results: neglect of alternative causes when reasoning from cause to effect but not when reasoning from effect to cause. The findings suggest that framing a problem as a diagnostic-likelihood judgment can reduce bias.

publication date

  • March 1, 2010

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • June 13, 2014 2:02 AM

Full Author List

  • Fernbach PM; Darlow A; Sloman SA

author count

  • 3

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0956-7976

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-9280

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 329

end page

  • 336


  • 21


  • 3