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Reading about explanations enhances perceptions of inevitability and foreseeability: a cross-cultural study with Wikipedia articles

Overview of attention for article published in Cognitive Processing, February 2014
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20 Mendeley
Title
Reading about explanations enhances perceptions of inevitability and foreseeability: a cross-cultural study with Wikipedia articles
Published in
Cognitive Processing, February 2014
DOI 10.1007/s10339-014-0603-7
Pubmed ID
Authors

Aileen Oeberst, Ina von der Beck, Steffen Nestler

Abstract

In hindsight, people often perceive events to be more inevitable and foreseeable than in foresight. According to Causal Model Theory (Nestler et al. in J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 34: 1043-1054, 2008), causal explanations are crucial for such hindsight distortions to occur. The present study provides further empirical support for this notion but extends previous findings in several ways. First, ecologically valid materials were used. Second, the effect of causal information on hindsight distortions was investigated in the realm of previously known events. Third, cross-cultural differences in reasoning (analytic vs. holistic) were taken into account. Specifically, German and Vietnamese participants in our study were presented with Wikipedia articles about the nuclear power plant in Fukushima Daiichi, Japan. They read either the version that existed before the nuclear disaster unfolded (Version 1) or the article that existed 8 weeks after the catastrophe commenced (Version 2). Only the latter contained elaborations on causal antecedents and therefore provided an explanation for the disaster. Reading that version led participants to perceive the nuclear disaster to be more likely inevitable and foreseeable when compared to reading Version 1. Cultural background did not exert a significant effect on these perceptions. Hence, hindsight distortions were obtained for ecologically valid materials even if the event was already known. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 2 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 20 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 20 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 5 25%
Student > Ph. D. Student 4 20%
Researcher 3 15%
Professor > Associate Professor 2 10%
Student > Bachelor 2 10%
Other 4 20%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 12 60%
Business, Management and Accounting 2 10%
Computer Science 1 5%
Nursing and Health Professions 1 5%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 1 5%
Other 3 15%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 13 March 2014.
All research outputs
#9,621,889
of 12,531,853 outputs
Outputs from Cognitive Processing
#139
of 225 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#118,287
of 187,336 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cognitive Processing
#4
of 5 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,531,853 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 19th percentile – i.e., 19% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 225 research outputs from this source. They typically receive more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 10.0. This one is in the 32nd percentile – i.e., 32% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 187,336 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one is in the 32nd percentile – i.e., 32% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.
We're also able to compare this research output to 5 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one.