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      Social functionalist frameworks for judgment and choice: Intuitive politicians, theologians, and prosecutors.

      Psychological Review

      American Psychological Association (APA)

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          Abstract

          Research on judgment and choice has been dominated by functionalist assumptions that depict people as either intuitive scientists animated by epistemic goals or intuitive economists animated by utilitarian ones. This article identifies 3 alternative social functionalist starting points for inquiry: people as pragmatic politicians trying to cope with accountability demands from key constituencies in their lives, principled theologians trying to protect sacred values from secular encroachments, and prudent prosecutors trying to enforce social norms. Each functionalist framework stimulates middle-range theories that specify (a) cognitive-affective-behavioral strategies of coping with adaptive challenges and (b) the implications of these coping strategies for identifying empirical and normative boundary conditions on judgmental tendencies classified as errors or biases within the dominant research programs.

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          Most cited references 61

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          A cognitive-affective system theory of personality: reconceptualizing situations, dispositions, dynamics, and invariance in personality structure.

          A theory was proposed to reconcile paradoxical findings on the invariance of personality and the variability of behavior across situations. For this purpose, individuals were assumed to differ in (a) the accessibility of cognitive-affective mediating units (such as encodings, expectancies and beliefs, affects, and goals) and (b) the organization of relationships through which these units interact with each other and with psychological features of situations. The theory accounts for individual differences in predictable patterns of variability across situations (e.g., if A then she X, but if B then she Y), as well as for overall average levels of behavior, as essential expressions or behavioral signatures of the same underlying personality system. Situations, personality dispositions, dynamics, and structure were reconceptualized from this perspective.
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            Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes

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              Accounting for the effects of accountability.

              This article reviews the now extensive research literature addressing the impact of accountability on a wide range of social judgments and choices. It focuses on 4 issues: (a) What impact do various accountability ground rules have on thoughts, feelings, and action? (b) Under what conditions will accountability attenuate, have no effect on, or amplify cognitive biases? (c) Does accountability alter how people think or merely what people say they think? and (d) What goals do accountable decision makers seek to achieve? In addition, this review explores the broader implications of accountability research. It highlights the utility of treating thought as a process of internalized dialogue; the importance of documenting social and institutional boundary conditions on putative cognitive biases; and the potential to craft empirical answers to such applied problems as how to structure accountability relationships in organizations.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Psychological Review
                Psychological Review
                American Psychological Association (APA)
                1939-1471
                0033-295X
                2002
                2002
                : 109
                : 3
                : 451-471
                Article
                10.1037/0033-295X.109.3.451
                12088240
                © 2002

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