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Perceptual Salience

 

Explanations > Theories > Perceptual Salience

Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

We tend to over-estimate the causal role (salience) of information we have available to us.

Research

Taylor and Fiske (1975) arranged two people facing each other having a conversation, with other people sat in a circle around them. Afterwards, they asked the people from the circle to attribute cause for several incidents. The people attributed more to the people whose faces they could see better.

Example

When we see news of criminal muggings, we become more fearful when we go out, even though the chance of us being hurt remains unchanged and very small.

So what?

Using it

Give the other person plenty of information that will help them make the decisions you want of them.

Defending

When making important decisions, look beyond the available data.

See also

Anchoring and Adjustment Heuristic, Availability Heuristic, Attribution Theory, Recency Effect

References

Taylor and Fiske (1975)

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