Variants of uncertainty

  • Kahneman D
  • Tversky A
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Abstract

In contrast to formal theories of judgement and decision, which employ a single notion of probability, psychological analyses of responses to uncertainty reveal a wide variety of processes and experiences, which may follow different rules. Elementary forms of expectation and surprise in perception are reviewed. A phenomenological analysis is described, which distinguishes external attributions of uncertainty (disposition) from internal attributions of uncertainty (ignorance). Assessments of uncertainty can be made in different modes, by focusing on frequencies, propensities, the strength of arguments, or direct experiences of confidence. These variants of uncertainty are associated with different expressions in natural language; they are also suggestive of competing philosophical interpretations of probability. © 1982.

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Authors

  • Daniel Kahneman

  • Amos Tversky

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