Cognitive failures – individual predictors and intervention possibilities


Duration of the project:
1.7.2017 - 30.6.2021

Principal investigator:
Doc. PaedDr. Vladimíra Čavojová, PhD.

List of scientific co-workers:
PhDr. Eva Ballová Mikušková, PhD.
Prof. Peter Halama, PhD.
Mgr. Lenka Valuš, PhD.
Mgr. Marek Jurkovič, PhD.
Mgr. Jakub Šrol
Mgr. Jana Bašnáková, MSc.
Prof. PhDr. Viera Bačová, DrSc.
Mgr. Lukáš Pitel, PhD.
Mgr. Daša Strachanová
Mgr. Miroslava Galasová

Project focuses on the question which individual predictors influence cognitive failures of people and how can we help them to make better decisions. Cognitive failures are examined from two perspectives – from the perspective of predictors entering into cognitive process and from the perspective of predictors of cognitive failures in specific areas. Relatively new and original is the area of epistemically suspect beliefs (ESB), which represent specific domain of cognitive failures understanding of which can have practical implications for everyday life – from an explication of vulnerability in financial decisions to political extremism. The aim of the project is to construct methods for measuring rational thinking and ESB, identify individual predictors of cognitive failures and their mutual interaction. It will enable us to examine how resistance to cognitive failures in rational tasks correlates with various ESB and to identify socio-cultural factors that predict the forming of ESB in Slovakia. We will also experimentally verify the effect of interventions modified according to these individual predictors on cognitive failures. Previous intervention efforts failed because of the universality of used procedures without regard to specific characteristics of groups of people, who are – for whatever reasons – immune to these interventions and without regard to specific domains of cognitive failures, therefore we aim to specifically address these concerns in our project. Thus, our results can contribute to the verification of the latest models of cognitive processes within dual-process theories and promote our understanding of the connection between cognitive failures in rational thinking tasks and ESB as one of the manifestations of cognitive failure in everyday life.

Key words:
cognitive biases, epistemically suspect beliefs, scientific reasoning, debiasing, confirmation bias