Author(s)： Anton Kühberger, Claudia Luger-Bazinger
When predicting thoughts and behavior of other people, we use either the self as the basis for predictions (i.e., we simulate others), or theoretical knowledge (i.e., we use knowledge about others). To find out whether the prediction of complex choices is possible we asked participants to predict the choice of a well-known or unknown target person in the classic Asian disease framing task, a paradigmatic example of a paradoxical decision. In addition, we collected participants’ self-reports on their prediction strategies (theory or simulation). People’s choice in a framing task was correctly predicted regardless of familiarity. Although familiarity influenced reported strategy, correct predictions were presumably based on simulation, since explicit theoretical knowledge either was irrelevant or non-existent. These findings show that the correct prediction of paradoxical decisions by high-level simulation cannot be ruled as an alternative to prediction by theory.
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