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Prevalence-induced concept change in human judgment

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Science  29 Jun 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6396, pp. 1465-1467
DOI: 10.1126/science.aap8731

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  • RE: by Levari et al. (Prevalence-induced concept change in human judgement [29 June 2018, v. 360, pages 1465-1467])
    • Michael W. Levine, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago

    The studies reported by Levari et al. are an excellent reminder of the importance of stimulus domain upon human judgements. But these studies concentrated on temporal shifts – subjects first shown a balanced array were then asked to judge some of the same items in a heavily biased array.
    Given the known influence of the range of stimuli on the psychophysically measured threshold, I am certain the same effect would be found in a comparison between groups shown a balanced array and those initially shown a weighted version. This, of course, is the situation faced by ethical review boards. As a member of our institutional review board (IRB), I am concerned that the rarity of unethical proposals leads us to question studies that we might otherwise consider ethical.

    Competing Interests: None declared.