Reasoning, defined as the production and evaluation of reasons, is a central process in science. The dominant view of reasoning, both in the psychology of reasoning and in the psychology of science, is of a mechanism with an asocial function: bettering the beliefs of the lone reasoner. Many observations, however, are difficult to reconcile with this view of reasoning; in particular, reasoning systematically searches for reasons that support the reasoner’s initial beliefs, and it only evaluates these reasons cursorily. By contrast, (...) reasoners are well able to evaluate others’ reasons: accepting strong arguments and rejecting weak ones. The argumentative theory of reasoning accounts for these traits of reasoning by postulating that the evolved function of reasoning is to argue: to find arguments to convince others and to change one’s mind when confronted with good arguments. Scientific reasoning, however, is often described as being at odds with such an argumentative mechanisms: scientists are supposed to reason objectively on their own, and to be pigheaded when their theories are challenged, even by good arguments. In this article, we review evidence showing that scientists, when reasoning, are subject to the same biases as are lay people while being able to change their mind when confronted with good arguments. We conclude that the argumentative theory of reasoning explains well key features of scientists’ reasoning and that differences in the way scientists and laypeople reason result from the institutional framework of science. (shrink)
Can human social cognitive processes and social motives be grasped by the methods of experimental economics? Experimental studies of strategic cognition and social preferences contribute to our understanding of the social aspects of economic decisions making. Yet, papers in this issue argue that the social aspects of decision-making introduce several difficulties for interpreting the results of economic experiments. In particular, the laboratory is itself a social context, and in many respects a rather distinctive one, which raises questions of external validity.
Editorial: Folk Epistemology. The Cognitive Bases of Epistemic Evaluation Content Type Journal Article Pages 477-482 DOI 10.1007/s13164-010-0046-8 Authors Christophe Heintz, Department of Cognitive Science, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary Dario Taraborelli, Centre for Research in Social Simulation, Department of Sociology, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK Journal Review of Philosophy and Psychology Online ISSN 1878-5166 Print ISSN 1878-5158 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number 4.
Humans massively depend on communication with others, but this leaves them open to the risk of being accidentally or intentionally misinformed. To ensure that, despite this risk, communication remains advantageous, humans have, we claim, a suite of cognitive mechanisms for epistemic vigilance. Here we outline this claim and consider some of the ways in which epistemic vigilance works in mental and social life by surveying issues, research and theories in different domains of philosophy, linguistics, cognitive psychology and the social sciences.
Preface: The Review of Philosophy and Psychology Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s13164-010-0024-1 Authors Dario Taraborelli, University of Surrey Centre for Research in Social Simulation Guilford GU2 7XH United Kingdom Roberto Casati, Institut Jean Nicod, Ecole Normale Supérieure 29 rue d’Ulm 75005 Paris France Paul Egré, Institut Jean Nicod, Ecole Normale Supérieure 29 rue d’Ulm 75005 Paris France Christophe Heintz, Central European University Budapest Hungary Journal Review of Philosophy and Psychology Online ISSN 1878-5166 Print ISSN 1878-5158 Journal Volume (...) Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number 1. (shrink)
I argue that altruistic behavior and its variation across cultures may be caused by mental cognitive mechanisms that induce cooperative behavior in contract-like situations and adapt that behavior to the kinds of contracts that exist in one's socio-cultural environment. I thus present a cognitive alternative to Henrich et al.'s motivation-based account. Rather than behaving in ways that reveal preferences, subjects interpret the experiment in ways that cue their social heuristics. In order to distinguish the respective roles of preferences and (...) cognitive processes that determine economic behavior, we need more ethnography of strategies “in the wild.”. (shrink)