Probability judgments under ambiguity and conflict

Michael Smithson*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Whether conflict and ambiguity are distinct kinds of uncertainty remains an open question, as does their joint impact on judgments of overall uncertainty. This paper reviews recent advances in our understanding of human judgment and decision making when both ambiguity and conflict are present, and presents two types of testable models of judgments under conflict and ambiguity. The first type concerns estimate-pooling to arrive at “best” probability estimates. The second type is models of subjective assessments of conflict and ambiguity. These models are developed for dealing with both described and experienced information. A framework for testing these models in the described-information setting is presented, including a reanalysis of a multi-nation data-set to test best-estimate models, and a study of participants' assessments of conflict, ambiguity, and overall uncertainty reported by Smithson (2013). A framework for research in the experienced-information setting is then developed, that differs substantially from extant paradigms in the literature. This framework yields new models of “best” estimates and perceived conflict. The paper concludes with specific suggestions for future research on judgment and decision making under conflict and ambiguity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number674
    JournalFrontiers in Psychology
    Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2015


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