Subjects made judgments concerning the strength and direction of the contingency between two dichotomous variables in a situation in which no contingency actually existed. The judgments exhibited a significant primacy effect. The effects of warning and not warning the subjects that they would be required to recall the frequencies of observed event co-occurrences implied that this primacy effect was due to 'attention decrement' (Anderson 1981). According to this hypothesis, attention to contingency-relevant information diminishes after the subject is exposed to only a small portion of the available information.
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* It is our great pleasure to thank research. This work was supported MH16892. Requests Psychology,
Robert Revnew for his assistance in carrying out the reported in part by U.S. National Institute of Mental Health Grant
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