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Causal judgements about two causal candidates: Accounting for occurrences, estimating strength, and the importance of interaction judgements

White, Peter Anthony 2011. Causal judgements about two causal candidates: Accounting for occurrences, estimating strength, and the importance of interaction judgements. Journal of Cognitive Psychology 23 (4) , pp. 485-506. 10.1080/20445911.2011.547851

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Abstract

When two possible causes of an outcome are under consideration, contingency information concerns each possible combination of presence and absence of the two causes with occurrences and nonoccurrences of the outcome. White (2008) proposed that such judgements could be predicted by a weighted averaging model integrating these kinds of contingency information. The weights in the model are derived from the hypothesis that causal judgements seek to meet two main aims, accounting for occurrences of the outcome and estimating the strengths of the causes. Here it is shown that the model can explain many but not all relevant published findings. The remainder can be explained by reasoning about interactions between the two causes, by scenario-specific effects, and by variations in cell weight depending on quantity of available information. An experiment is reported that supports this argument. The review and experimental results support the case for a cognitive model of causal judgement in which different kinds of contingency information are utilised to satisfy particular aims of the judgement process.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Causal candidates, Causal judgement, Computational model
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 2044-5911
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:02
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/31201

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