Accessible content and accessibility experiences: The interplay of declarative and experiential information in judgment

In this article, the author extends the research into accessibility phenomena by addressing the interplay of accessible declarative information and subjective accessibility experiences, focusing on the operation of the availability heuristic and the emergence of knowledge accessibility effects in social judgment. Key theoretical assumptions are summarized and it is highlighted that the fact that many of the classic experiments are inherently ambiguous, because the obtained effects may reflect differences in what comes to mind as well as differences in how easily it comes to mind. Research is reviewed that disentangles the distinct influences of accessible content and accessibility experiences and identifies conditions under which people are likely to draw on accessible content vs subjective accessibility experiences in forming a judgment. Theoretical implications of this research for theorizing in social and cognitive psychology are addressed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)