Epistemic Strategies Causal Thinking in Expert and Nonexpert Judgment

  • Lee Roy Beach


The purpose of this chapter is to explore the nature of epistemic strategies, one of the two classes of strategies in the contingency model of judgment and forecasting proposed by Beach, Barnes, and Christensen-Szalanski (1986; see also Beach, Christensen-Szalanski, & Barnes, 1987), and to examine the development and use of these strategies by both experts and nonexperts. I will begin by reviewing the circumstances that led to formulation of the model, followed by a description of the model. Then I will demonstrate that considerably more is known about epistemic strategies than may at first appear. This will be followed by an examination of the use of epistemic strategies by experts in an important judgment task; the point being that this use is not atypical of many other judgment tasks. Finally, I will use what has gone before to broaden and clarify the contingency model of judgment and underscore its relevance to understanding and supporting judgmental expertise.


Expert Judgment Judgment Task Contingency Model Epistemic Reasoning Conjunction Fallacy 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lee Roy Beach
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Management and Policy, College of Business and Public AdministrationUniversity of ArizonaTucson

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