Accession Number : AD0622002

Title :   SEMANTICS OF UNCERTAINTY: SOME PSYCHOPHYSICAL CORRELATES.

Descriptive Note : Professional paper,

Corporate Author : SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF

Personal Author(s) : Katter,R. V. ; Holmes,E. H.

Report Date : 09 AUG 1965

Pagination or Media Count : 23

Abstract : The making of decisions under conditions of uncertainty is a ubiquitous aspect of the individual's information processing behavior. Consequently, a considerable portion of his communicative activity is occupied with attempts to express the nature of his decision processes. Since the accuracy of such communication is of some social importance, the present study sought to discover the kinds of errors that may occur in communications about uncertain decisions. Experimental subjects were shown statements expressing different degrees of 'chance' for the occurrence of a certain event, and also statements expressing different degrees of 'confidence' in predicting the occurrence or nonoccurrence of that event. In response to each statement subjects adjusted a device that indicated graphically the probability of occurrence of the event that they thought the statement expressed. Results suggest that statements directly expressing the subjective probability of occurrence of an event are seldom misunderstood. Also, it appears that statements expressing high confidence in predicting the occurrence or nonoccurrence of an event are rarely misunderstood. However, statements expressing low confidence in predicting either occurrence or nonoccurrence of an event are frequently misunderstood in any one of three ways. Some of the possible implications of these findings for social communication and for decision making are discussed. (Author)

Descriptors :   (*DECISION MAKING, ERRORS), (*PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS, DECISION MAKING), LANGUAGE, REASONING, PROBABILITY, ATTITUDES(PSYCHOLOGY), SOCIAL COMMUNICATION, BEHAVIOR, STATISTICAL ANALYSIS

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE