Cognitive Strategies in Stochastic Thinking

Scholz, R. W.
Leinfellner, W., & Eberlein G.
D. Reidel
The Netherlands

Stochastic thinking denotes a person's cognitive activity when coping with stochastic problems, and/or the process of conceptualization, of understanding, and of information processing in situations of problem coping, when the chance or probability concept is referred to, or stochastic models are applied. In accordance with our view on stochastic thinking in decision making under uncertainty, three different aspects may be emphasized in psychological research: (1) the behavioral analysis, which may focus on analyzing or improving the product of the decision process. (2) The procedural analysis, which may, for instance, attempt to identify cognitive strategies of heuristics when tracing the process of thinking; and (3) the semantic or conceptual side, for instance, when analyzing the individuals's knowledge about probability or his/her use of probability to conceptualize uncertainty. Chapters: 1. Toward an understanding of individual decision making under uncertainty 2. The "Base-Rate Fallacy" - heuristics and/or the modeling of judgmental biases by information weights 3. A conceptualization of the multitude of strategies on base-rate problems 4. Modes of thought and problem framing in the stochastic thinking of students and experts (sophisticated decision makers) 5. Stochastic thinking, models of thought, and a framework for the process and structure of human information processing