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Common-sense construction of causal processes in nature: a causal network analysis

White, Peter Anthony 1995. Common-sense construction of causal processes in nature: a causal network analysis. British Journal of Psychology 86 (3) , pp. 377-395. 10.1111/j.2044-8295.1995.tb02759.x

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This study is concerned with structural and content features of common-sense beliefs about causal processes in nature. It is an attempt to replicate findings reported by White (1992) using a different method, causal network analysis. Subjects judged the presence and direction of causal relations among a set of entities describing various human, plant and animal parameters. Structurally, the resultant network was linear. In terms of content, human parameters tended to be dominant overall, and plant parameters tended to dominate animal parameters. Both these results replicate White's findings. Results also showed a degree of antagonism between the human and natural worlds: human increases were judged to lead to natural decreases and vice versa; on the other hand, both natural increases and decreases lead to human increases. Natural increases lead to natural increases and natural decreases to natural decreases: there was no sign of the kind of interaction between increase and decrease that would be characteristic of a natural systems view.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: British Psychological Society
ISSN: 0007-1269
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:09

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