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How well is causal structure inferred from cooccurrence information?

White, Peter Anthony 2006. How well is causal structure inferred from cooccurrence information? European Journal of Cognitive Psychology 18 (3) , pp. 454-480. 10.1080/09541440500264861

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Individual causal relations tend to form parts of larger causal systems. In five experiments the ability of participants to infer the structures of two systems involving five entities from patterns of cooccurrence was investigated. Although the systems were fully deterministic, there were no indirect causal relations, and participants were given guidance on how to infer causal structure from cooccurrence information, low rates of success were observed. Judgements were based more on information about temporal relations, even though no guidance on the use of temporal relation information for causal inference was provided. When no guidance was provided, no participants succeeded in inferring the structure of both systems. The results indicate that temporal relations may be preferred as cues to causal structure over patterns of cooccurrence.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0954-1446
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:05

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