What psychological theories predict whether individuals will underestimate or overestimate when responding to particular kinds of general knowledge quantity questions?
For instance, I have seen an unpublished study in which people were asked to guess the weight of the fuel in a certain space shuttle, and almost everyone wildly underestimated the weight. Then in another question they were asked to guess the weight of the horse which won the last Kentucky Derby and the responses were distributed fairly evenly around the truth. Why is this?
I think that the heuristics and biases literature must be relevant here, but I haven't found any citations that allow me to make predictions which are sufficiently specific.