Inferring Missing Information


Every day people make judgments and decisions, even when they don’t have the necessary information. Ramadhar Singh studied how people, when making predictions about others, infer the missing information from the facts they do have. In his research, Singh first experimentally demonstrated that Predicted gift size = Generosity x Capability (Income). Based on this evidence, he then identified that inferred value of the missing capability information increases with the given value of generosity information. In contrast, inferred value of the missing generosity information is constant usually around the middle level of generosity in the donor. Singh and his colleagues also demonstrated similar inferences about missing ability and motivation information in prediction of performance. Singh’s work identifying these kinds of asymmetrical inferences has helped social and cross-cultural psychologists understand and investigate how people judge morality and achievement of others even without the needed information.