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  1. Denise Dellarosa Cummins, Role of Analogical Reasoning in the Induction of Problem Categories.
    The purpose of the work reported here was to investigate the role of problem comparison and, specifically, analogical comparison in the induction of problem categories. This work was motivated by two factors. First, it is well-documented that experts and novices represent problems in very different ways and that solution success often depends on producing expert-like problem representations (DeGroot, 1965; Duncker, 1945; Chi, Feltovich, & Glaser, 1981; Hardiman, Dufresne, & Mestre, 1989; Novick, 1988; Schoenfeld & Herrmann, 1982; Silver, 1979, 1981). Second, (...)
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  2. Denise Dellarosa Cummins, Of Arithmetic Word Problems.
    Two experiments were conducted to investigate children’s interpretations of standard arithmetic word problems and the factors that influence their interpretations. In Experiment 1, children were required to solve a series of problems and then to draw and select pictures that represented the problems’ structures. Solution performance was found to vary systematically with the nature of the representations drawn and chosen. The crucial determinant of solution success was the interpretation a child assigned to certain phrases used in the problems. In Experiment (...)
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  3. Denise Dellarosa Cummins, Reply to Fairley and Manktelow's Comment on “Naive Theories and Causal Deduction”.
    Fairley and Manktelow (1997) have mistaken an error of presentation for an error of substance. My causal the- ory remains the same: Causal reasoning scenarios that require the reasoner to decide whether or not an effect will occur in the presence of a viable cause trigger considera- tion of disabling conditions—that is, factors that could prevent the effect from occurring in the presence of a vi- able cause. Scenarios that require the reasoner to decide whether or not a particular cause (...)
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  4. Joseph Spino & Denise Dellarosa Cummins (2014). The Ticking Time Bomb: When the Use of Torture Is and Is Not Endorsed. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (4):543-563.
    Although standard ethical views categorize intentional torture as morally wrong, the ticking time bomb scenario is frequently offered as a legitimate counter-example that justifies the use of torture. In this scenario, a bomb has been placed in a city by a terrorist, and the only way to defuse the bomb in time is to torture a terrorist in custody for information. TTB scenarios appeal to a utilitarian “greater good” justification, yet critics maintain that the utilitarian structure depends on a questionable (...)
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  5. Laurence Fiddick, Denise Dellarosa Cummins, Maria Janicki, Sean Lee & Nicole Erlich (2013). A Cross-Cultural Study of Noblesse Oblige in Economic Decision-Making. Human Nature 24 (3):318-335.
    A cornerstone of economic theory is that rational agents are self-interested, yet a decade of research in experimental economics has shown that economic decisions are frequently driven by concerns for fairness, equity, and reciprocity. One aspect of other-regarding behavior that has garnered attention is noblesse oblige, a social norm that obligates those of higher status to be generous in their dealings with those of lower status. The results of a cross-cultural study are reported in which marked noblesse oblige was observed (...)
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  6. Robert C. Cummins & Denise Dellarosa Cummins (2012). Emotion and Deliberative Reasoning in Moral Judgment. Frontiers in Psychology 3.
    According to an influential dual-process model, a moral judgment is the outcome of a rapid, affect-laden process and a slower, deliberative process. If these outputs conflict, decision time is increased in order to resolve the conflict. Violations of deontological principles proscribing the use of personal force to inflict intentional harm are presumed to elicit negative affect which biases judgments early in the decision-making process. This model was tested in three experiments. Moral dilemmas were classified using (a) decision time and consensus (...)
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  7. Denise Dellarosa Cummins (2000). How the Social Environment Shaped the Evolution of Mind. Synthese 122 (1-2):3 - 28.
    Dominance hierarchies are ubiquitous in the societies of human and non-human animals. Evidence from comparative, developmental, and cognitive psychological investigations is presented that show how social dominance hierarchies shaped the evolution of the human mind, and hence, human social institutions. It is argued that the pressures that arise from living in hierarchical social groups laid a foundation of fundamental concepts and cognitive strategies that are crucial to surviving in social dominance hierarchies. These include recognizing and reasoning transitively about dominance relations, (...)
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  8. Denise Dellarosa Cummins (1998). Can Humans Form Hierarchically Embedded Mental Representations? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (5):687-688.
    Certain recurring themes have emerged from research on intelligent behavior from literatures as diverse as developmental psychology, artificial intelligence, human reasoning and problem solving, and primatology. These themes include the importance of sensitivity to goal structure rather than action sequences in intelligent learning, the capacity to construct and manipulate hierarchically embedded mental representations, and a troubling domain specificity in the manifestation of each.
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  9. Denise Dellarosa Cummins (1996). Dominance Hierarchies and the Evolution of Human Reasoning. Minds and Machines 6 (4):463-480.
    Research from ethology and evolutionary biology indicates the following about the evolution of reasoning capacity. First, solving problems of social competition and cooperation have direct impact on survival rates and reproductive success. Second, the social structure that evolved from this pressure is the dominance hierarchy. Third, primates that live in large groups with complex dominance hierarchies also show greater neocortical development, and concomitantly greater cognitive capacity. These facts suggest that the necessity of reasoning effectively about dominance hierarchies left an indelible (...)
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