Fuzzy-trace theory also predicts individual differences across adults and developmental differences across the lifespan (Reyna & Brainerd, 2011

Fuzzy-trace theory also predicts individual differences across adults and developmental differences across the lifespan (Reyna & Brainerd, 2011). For example, individuals with certain kinds of autism are higher in verbatim processing and lower in gist processing. Therefore, fuzzy-trace theory makes the surprising prediction that they will be technically more rational because they are less likely to demonstrate gist-based biases such as framing effects and the conjunction fallacy; these predictions were supported. The theory also predicts that framing effects and other biases become greater from childhood to adulthood, as information processing becomes more gist-based (also observed; Reyna & Farley, 2006; see also Paulsen et al., 2012). These studies remove the burden of symbolic and formal mathematical processing by using piles of prizes (e.g., stickers or toys) as outcomes and shaded areas of spinners to convey probability (Reyna & Ellis, 1994). Research on fuzzy-trace theory has further shown that prospect theory and utility theories cannot explain framing and other classic effects, and that novel phenomena of memory, judgment, and decision making can be explained with a small set of testable assumptions (Corbin et al., 2015). These ideas have been applied with the goal of improving decision making in law, medicine, and public health (Blalock & Reyna, 2016; Reyna et al., 2016).

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