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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 6:16 EDT

Latest Philip Fernbach Stories

2013-04-29 16:04:16

Having to explain how a political policy works leads people to express less extreme attitudes toward the policy, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The research suggests that people may hold extreme policy positions because they are under an illusion of understanding – attempting to explain the nuts and bolts of how a policy works forces them to acknowledge that they don´t know as much about the...

2012-09-18 23:00:49

In a new study, psychologists at Brown University and the University of Colorado found that while some people require a detailed explanation of how a product works before they´ll be willing to pay more, others became less willing to pay when confronted with that additional detail. A simple, standard test predicted the desire for detail – who wants more, who wants less. A study published online in the Journal of Consumer Research finds that people can differ widely on the level...

2011-03-07 17:28:52

New research shows that people who receive weak but supportive evidence about a proposition are less optimistic about the outcome than people who receive no evidence at all. The "weak evidence effect" could be a useful tool in communications, from marketing to political discourse. Experiments by Brown University psychologists have produced positive evidence that people often think about positive evidence the wrong way "” if it is weak. Defying logic, people given weak evidence can...

2010-03-02 08:56:50

Researchers led by Philip Fernbach, a cognitive and linguistic sciences graduate student, have found that individuals are more likely to consider alternative causes when they make diagnoses than when they make decisions about the future. The findings suggest that framing problems as diagnostic-likelihood judgments can reduce bias. Details will be in the March 2010 edition of Psychological Science. PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Brown University researchers have identified a way to improve thought...