Thinking Aloud While Solving a Stock-Flow Task: Surfacing the Correlation Heuristic and Other Reasoning Patterns
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SourceSystems Research and Behavioral Science, 31, 2, (2014), pp. 268-279
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Systems Research and Behavioral Science
In the literature, it is assumed that individuals, while performing stock-flow tasks, often use a correlation heuristic, a form of pattern matching in which they think that the behavior of the stock resembles the (net) flow. To investigate this assumption and to increase our insight in the actual reasoning patterns when performing stock-flow tasks, we conducted an experiment by using the department store task as baseline. In the treatment condition, participants performed the stock-flow task while thinking aloud; in the control condition, they only had to write down their answers. The correlation heuristic was corroborated: participants actually did verbalize their thoughts in terms of the biggest difference between inflow and outflow at a particular point, thus expressing the correlation heuristic in words. However, other reasoning strategies that led to incorrect claims were also found. Further research is desirable to elaborate insight in the precursors of heuristic reasoning. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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