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Causal judgement as evaluation of evidence: the use of confirmatory and disconfirrnatory information

White, Peter Anthony 2003. Causal judgement as evaluation of evidence: the use of confirmatory and disconfirrnatory information. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. Section A: Human Experimental Psychology 56 (3) , pp. 491-513. 10.1080/02724980244000503

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There are four kinds of contingency information: occurrences and nonoccurrences of an effect in the presence and absence of a cause. In two experiments participants made judgements about sets of stimulus materials in which one of these four kinds had zero frequency. The experiments tested two kinds of predictions derived from the evidential evaluation model of causal judgement, which postulates that causal judgement depends on the proportion of instances evaluated as confirmatory for the cause being judged. The model predicts significant effects of manipulating the frequency of one kind of contingency information in the absence of changes in the objective contingency. The model also predicts that extra weight will be given to one kind of confirmatory information when the other kind has zero frequency, and to one kind of disconfirmatory information when the other kind has zero frequency. Results supported both sets of predictions, and also disconfirmed predictions of the power probabilistic contrast theory of causal judgement. This research therefore favours an account of causal judgement in which contingency information is transformed into evidence, and judgement is based on the net confirmatory or disconfirmatory value of the evidence.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0272-4987
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:09

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