Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Rationalization may improve predictability rather than accuracy

  • Author(s): Stanford, P. K.
  • Thomas, Ashley J.
  • Sarnecka, Barbara W
  • et al.
Abstract

We present a theoretical and an empirical challenge to Cushman's claim that rationalization is adaptive because it allows humans to extract more accurate beliefs from our non-rational motivations for behavior. Rationalization sometimes generates more adaptive decisions by making our beliefs about the world less accurate. We suggest that the most important adaptive advantage of rationalization is instead that it increases our predictability (and therefore attractiveness) as potential partners in cooperative social interactions.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View