Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Context, as well as inputs, shape decisions, but are people aware of it?

Erik G. Helzera1 and David Dunninga2

a1 Department of Psychology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27109.

a2 Department of Psychology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.


Even if people are experts at understanding how various input cues landed them at a particular decision (something the authors refer to as cue utilization), they may still fail to appreciate how context influences the weight given to those input variables. We review evidence suggesting that people are unaware of contextual influences on their decisions.

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