The Availability Heuristic in a Symbolic-Connectionist Architecture

Aaron HamerUniversity of Hawaii
Leonidas DoumasUniversity of Edinburgh

Abstract

Theories of how cognitive biases arise rely on heuristics that influence attention and reasoning. These heuristics serve as a post-hoc description of how attention and reasoning is weighted to produce the patterns of deviation in judgment. We are unaware of any process account of how these heuristics arise. In this article, we present several simulations of classic studies of the availability heuristic and describe how the availability heuristic arises through distributed symbolic representations and simple process interactions in an existing model of relational reasoning and concept development (Discovery of Relations by Analogy; Doumas, Hummel, & Sandhofer, 2008).

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