SFB 504 discussion paper 08-37

Peter Freytag
Universität Heidelberg
Hauptstraße 47-51

Tobias Vogel
Sonderforschungsbereich 504
Hauptstraße 47-51

Florian Kutzner
Sonderforschungsbereich 504
Hauptstraße 47-51

Klaus Fiedler
Sonderforschungsbereich 504/ Universität Heidelberg
Hauptstraße 47-51, 69117 Heidelberg

The reproduction of base-rates promotes pseudocontingencies

Fiedler and Freytag (2004) proposed an alternative pathway to contingency assessment in terms of pseudocontingencies (PCs). PCs reflect the utilization of base-rate information in the formation of contingency judgments. Here, we introduce an instantiation of the phenomenon based on the mere reproduction of the base rates. Using a relationship-counseling scenario, participants in two experiments produced positive correlations on both indirect and direct measures of the contingency between partners’ responses to the subscales of a relationship inventory, although the objective contingency within each subscale had been negative in an initial learning phase. The magnitude of these effects was predicted accurately by computer simulations reproducing the base rate of ‘yes’ responses for each partner and domain. The findings are discussed within the PC framework.
A13 Freytag/Fiedler
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