Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: October 03, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956253 | Print ISBN: 9781412916707 | Online ISBN: 9781412956253| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Frank R. Kardes
Omission neglect refers to insensitivity to missing information of all types—including unmentioned or unknown options, alternatives, features, properties, characteristics, possibilities, and events. When people fail to think about what they do not know, they underestimate the importance of missing information, and this leads people to form strong opinions even when the available evidence is weak. This can lead to bad decisions that people later regret. It is often surprisingly difficult to notice that important information is missing. For example, in the story, “The Silver Blaze,” Sherlock Holmes asked Inspector Gregory to consider a curious incident involving a dog. Gregory replied that nothing happened, and Holmes proclaimed, “That was the curious incident.” This clue enabled Holmes to deduce that the culprit must have been someone familiar to the victim's dog. Most people would miss this important clue because most people, like Gregory, pay little attention to nonevents. Other types of omissions ...