Context and the interpretation of likelihood information: the role of intergroup comparisons on perceived vulnerability
NLM Title Abbreviation
J Pers Soc Psychol
Journal of personality and social psychology
DOI of Published Version
Four experiments investigated how people's perceptions about a group's (e.g., women's) vulnerability to a disease are influenced by information about the prevalence of the disease in a comparable group (e.g., men). Participants read symptom and prevalence infomation about fictitious diseases before answering questions regarding target group vulnerability. Participants used the prevalence rate for a nontarget group as an immediate comparison standard for intuitively interpreting the degree of vulnerability of a target group, resulting in robust contrast effects. Experiments 3 and 4 illustrated that these contrast effects can cause a person's intuitive perceptions about a group's vulnerability to selected diseases to conflict with his or her knowledge of the prevalence rates for the diseases. The results support a distinction between 2 components of psychological uncertainty-beliefs in objective probability and more intuitive perceptions of certainty.
Adult, Attitude, Awareness, Cross-Sectional Studies, Disease Susceptibility/epidemiology/psychology, Female, Humans, Intuition, Male, Social Identification, Stereotyping
Published Article/Book Citation
Journal of personality and social psychology, 82:5 (2002) pp.742-755. DOI:10.1037/0022-35220.127.116.112.