Differential use of the availability heuristic in social judgment

Alexander J. Rothman, Curtis D. Hardin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Three experiments demonstrate that chronic applicability regulates the use of two types of information associated with the availability heuristic. In Experiment 1, participants used subjective experience of ease of retrieving behavioral instances when judging out-groups but used the number of behaviors retrieved when judging in-groups. In Experiment 2, manipulating the diagnosticity of experience of ease affected out-group but not in-group judgment. When experience of ease was diagnostic, results replicated Experiment 1; however, when experience of ease was nondiagnostic, the number of behaviors recalled was used in both in-group and out-group judgment. In Experiment 3, participants used the experience of ease to judge close friends but the number of behaviors retrieved to judge casual acquaintances. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that chronic patterns of information use and immediate situational cues define the applicability of accessible information to the judgment at hand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-138
Number of pages16
JournalPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1997

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


Dive into the research topics of 'Differential use of the availability heuristic in social judgment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this