Judgement = The process by which we form opinions, reach conclusions and make critical evaluations of people and events on the basis of available information.

Occurs spontaneously without prompting

Initial judgements new events and people are strongly influenced by past experiences of similar situations and people.

Make inferences that help develop our schemas to guide judgement.

Inference = The reasoning process of drawing a conclusion on the basis of a sample evidence of prior beliefs and theories. Schemas make inferences.

Decision Making = The process of choosing between alternatives, selecting and rejecting available options.

Controlled deliberate process


Judgements and decisions are made easily with a minimum of effort. [Short-cuts] Concentrate on errors, biases and processes underlie faulty decision making.

We tend to be cognitive misers; attempt to process information with a minimum amount of mental effort to construct judgements.

  • Most Salient information (draw on most important experience (NEGATIVE)).
  • Economical and can lead to over-generalising and stereotype formation.
  • Initial impressions persistent and resistant.
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