Does thinking make you biased? The case of the engineers and lawyers problem

Kinga Morsanyi, Simon J. Handley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In this study we examined the cognitive processes involved in engineers and lawyers-type problems, using a novel method (i.e., asking for liking ratings). We were particularly interested in how participants process information about personality descriptions and base rates, which are provided in the problems. In line with previous research, we found that people detect the conflict between descriptions and base rates. Nevertheless, when instructed to reason logically, instead of relying on base rates, participants resolved the conflict by showing higher preference for description-based responses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBuilding bridges across cognitive sciences around the world
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the 34th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
EditorsNaomi Miyake, David Peebles, Richard P. Cooper
Place of PublicationAustin, TX
PublisherCognitive Science Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780976831884
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventAnnual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (34th : 2012) - Sapporo, Japan
Duration: 1 Aug 20124 Aug 2012


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (34th : 2012)
CitySapporo, Japan


  • conflict detection
  • dual-process theories: engineers and lawyers problem
  • heuristics and biases
  • instruction manipulation
  • liking ratings


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