Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 180
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Guo, Lan Libby, Theresa Wong-On-Wing, Bernard and Yang, Dan 2018. Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research. Vol. 21, Issue. , p. 97.

    MacRobert, Charles John 2018. Introducing Engineering Judgment through Active Learning. Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, Vol. 144, Issue. 4, p. 05018009.

    Tong, Jordan Feiler, Daniel and Larrick, Richard 2018. A Behavioral Remedy for the Censorship Bias. Production and Operations Management, Vol. 27, Issue. 4, p. 624.

    Wüst, Kirsten and Beck, Hanno 2018. “I Thought I Did Much Better”-Overconfidence in University Exams. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, Vol. 16, Issue. 4, p. 310.

    Streicher, Bernhard Eller, Eric and Zimmermann, Sonja 2018. Psychological Perspectives on Risk and Risk Analysis. p. 217.

    Domeier, Markus Sachse, Pierre and Schäfer, Bernd 2018. Motivational Reasons for Biased Decisions: The Sunk-Cost Effect’s Instrumental Rationality. Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 9, Issue. ,

    Kretz, Donald R. 2018. Cognitive Biases in Visualizations. p. 111.

    Bland, Steven 2018. Cognitive bias, situationism, and virtue reliabilism. Synthese,

    Durbach, Ian N. and Montibeller, Gilberto 2018. Behavioural Analytics: Exploring judgments and choices in large data sets. Journal of the Operational Research Society, p. 1.

    Ludolph, Ramona and Schulz, Peter J. 2018. Debiasing Health-Related Judgments and Decision Making: A Systematic Review. Medical Decision Making, Vol. 38, Issue. 1, p. 3.

    Colombo, Céline 2018. Hearing the Other Side? – Debiasing Political Opinions in the Case of the Scottish Independence Referendum. Political Studies, Vol. 66, Issue. 1, p. 23.

    Hafenbrädl, Sebastian and Woike, Jan K. 2018. Competitive escalation and interventions. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, Vol. 31, Issue. 5, p. 695.

    Veen, Duco Stoel, Diederick Zondervan-Zwijnenburg, Mariëlle and van de Schoot, Rens 2017. Proposal for a Five-Step Method to Elicit Expert Judgment. Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 8, Issue. ,

    Moore, Don A. Swift, Samuel A. Minster, Angela Mellers, Barbara Ungar, Lyle Tetlock, Philip Yang, Heather H. J. and Tenney, Elizabeth R. 2017. Confidence Calibration in a Multiyear Geopolitical Forecasting Competition. Management Science, Vol. 63, Issue. 11, p. 3552.

    Correia, Vasco 2017. Modeling and Using Context. Vol. 10257, Issue. , p. 127.

    2017. Diagnosis Interpreting the Shadows. p. 257.

    Hacker, Philipp and Dimitropoulos, Georgios 2017. Environmental Law and Economics. p. 155.

    Li, Zhihua Rohde, Kirsten I. M. and Wakker, Peter P. 2017. Improving one’s choices by putting oneself in others’ shoes – An experimental analysis. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Vol. 54, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    Capps, Greg Koonce, Lisa and White, Brian J. 2017. Example-Based Reasoning and Fact-Weighting Guidance in Accounting Standards. Contemporary Accounting Research, Vol. 34, Issue. 1, p. 582.

    Lausberg, Carsten and Dust, Anja 2017. Advances in Automated Valuation Modeling. Vol. 86, Issue. , p. 331.

  • Print publication year: 1982
  • Online publication date: May 2013

31 - Debiasing


Once a behavioral phenomenon has been identified in some experimental context, it is appropriate to start questioning its robustness. A popular and often productive questioning strategy might be called destructive testing, after a kindred technique in engineering. A proposed design is subjected to conditions intended to push it to and beyond its limits of viability. Such controlled destruction can clarify where it is to be trusted and why it works when it does. Applied to a behavioral phenomenon, this philosophy would promote research attempting to circumscribe the conditions for its observation and the psychological processes that must be evoked or controlled in order to eliminate it. Where the phenomenon is a judgmental bias, destructive testing takes the form of debiasing efforts. Destructive testing shows where a design fails; when a bias fails, the result is improved judgment.

The study of heuristics and biases might itself be seen as the application of destructive testing to the earlier hypothesis that people are competent intuitive statisticians. Casual observation suggests that people's judgment is generally “good enough” to let them make it through life without getting into too much trouble. Early studies (Peterson & Beach, 1967) supported this belief, indicating that, to a first approximation, people might be described as veridical observers and normative judges. Subsequent studies, represented in this volume, tested the accuracy of this approximation by looking at the limits of people's apparent successes. Could better judgment have made them richer or healthier?

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

Judgment under Uncertainty
  • Online ISBN: 9780511809477
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *