All Volumes (2001-2008)


Volume II, 2002

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Previous studies have demonstrated that what is easy to call to mind will influence judgments. The impact of a person's subjective experience was tested for its influence on judgments of social psychological research findings. Eighty three college students generated examples of 40 research findings. Students subsequently judged the ease with which the examples came to mind and the probability of experiencing similar examples. Students then evaluated the obviousness and importance of and their interest in the research outcomes. Students also provided demographic information and indicated their previous knowledge in psychology. In the current study, the ease with which examples of research findings could be recalled influenced student's obviousness but not importance judgments. Other studies found that obviousness and importance judgments of research findings are positively related. The relationship between these judgments was not replicated in the current study. Results are discussed in terms of the availability heuristic and other cognitive strategies involved in lay judgments of research.