Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorDavidai, Shai
dc.date.accessioned2015-10-15T18:11:46Z
dc.date.available2020-08-17T06:01:24Z
dc.date.issued2015-08-17
dc.identifier.otherbibid: 9333210
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/1813/41159
dc.description.abstractPeople constantly rely on rankings and relative comparisons to make sense of the world. But how accurately do people understand relative rankings? In sixteen studies, I document an upward mobility bias in predictions of ascent and descent in rankings. Although rankings are by definition zero-sum (one entity's rise necessitates another's decline), I find that people believe that a rise in rankings is more likely than a decline. In Studies 1 and 2, I find that people believe that a person born to a family in the bottom income quintile is more likely to rise in the social ladder (i.e., upward social mobility) than a person born to a family in the top income quintile is to drop (i.e., downward social mobility). In Studies 3-8, I show that this bias is not confined to economic social mobility, and that the belief that a rise in ranking is more likely than a decline is observed in various settings, including athletics, academia, and employment. I present evidence that this bias results from people's tendency to give considerable weight to a focal agent's intentions and motivation, but to give less weight to the intentions of competitors and other factors that would thwart the focal agent's improvement. Finally, in Studies 9-13, I demonstrate that the upward mobility bias is exhibited even in non-volitional domains (where intention, motivation, or effort play no role), and propose that, due to a mental association between a ranking's order and the direction of absolute change, people may exhibit the upward mobility bias even in the absence of motivation.
dc.language.isoen_US
dc.subjectheuristics and biases
dc.subjectfocalism
dc.subjectsocial mobility
dc.titleThe Upward Mobility Bias: Asymmetric Predictions Of Ascent And Descent In Rankings
dc.typedissertation or thesis
thesis.degree.disciplinePsychology
thesis.degree.grantorCornell University
thesis.degree.levelDoctor of Philosophy
thesis.degree.namePh. D., Psychology
dc.contributor.chairGilovich,Thomas Dashiff
dc.contributor.committeeMemberPizarro,David A.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberFerguson,Melissa J.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberField,David James


Files in this item

Thumbnail

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Statistics