Towards understanding the cognitive representations underlying unsupervised judgment


The ability to form judgments is a core capacity in personal and professional life. Individuals spontaneously form impressions about strangers based upon their appearance, employees prioritize their daily duties according to their urgency and importance, and lecturers grade their students essays considering their arguments and writing style. The goal of human judgment research has been to understand how people integrate multiple pieces of information to form an accurate judgment and update their knowledge using feedback. Over the past decade, the view emerged that people construct different cognitive representations, rule based and similarity based, depending on the properties of the judgment task. A variety of judgment tasks in daily life, however, neither presuppose a normative correct answer, nor do individuals receive an obvious external feedback signal on a regular basis. Yet, how people learn to form such unsupervised judgments, has received little attention in judgment research. Applied research fields have put a stronger emphasis on the question of which information people consider in unsupervised judgments and have similarly adopted the view that people can construct multiple cognitive representations. Yet, this research has not rigorously spelled out how people solve unsupervised judgment problems and neglected that task properties trigger different cognitive representations. The goal of the proposed project is to close this gap in the literature and to shed light on the question of how people form judgments in the absence of feedback.

  • WG Hoffmann (Information Processing & Economic Decision Making)
Funding sources
Name Finanzierungstyp Kategorie Project no.
Sachbeihilfe/Normalverfahren third-party funds research funding program 524/17
Further information
Period: 01.04.2017 – 31.03.2020