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Profile: Tania Lombrozo (University of California, Berkeley)
  1.  28
    Kevin Uttich & Tania Lombrozo (2010). Norms Inform Mental State Ascriptions: A Rational Explanation for the Side-Effect Effect. Cognition 116 (1):87–100.
    Theory of mind, the capacity to understand and ascribe mental states, has traditionally been conceptualized as analogous to a scientific theory. However, recent work in philosophy and psychology has documented a "side-effect effect" suggesting that moral evaluations influence mental state ascriptions, and in particular whether a behavior is described as having been performed 'intentionally.' This evidence challenges the idea that theory of mind is analogous to scientific psychology in serving the function of predicting and explaining, rather than evaluating, behavior. In (...)
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  2.  47
    Tania Lombrozo (2010). Causal-Explanatory Pluralism: How Intentions, Functions, and Mechanisms Influence Causal Ascriptions. Cognitive Psychology 61 (4):303-332.
    Both philosophers and psychologists have argued for the existence of distinct kinds of explanations, including teleological explanations that cite functions or goals, and mechanistic explanations that cite causal mechanisms. Theories of causation, in contrast, have generally been unitary, with dominant theories focusing either on counterfactual dependence or on physical connections. This paper argues that both approaches to causation are psychologically real, with different modes of explanation promoting judgments more or less consistent with each approach. Two sets of experiments isolate the (...)
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  3.  33
    Tania Lombrozo (2009). The Role of Moral Commitments in Moral Judgment. Cognitive Science 33 (2):273-286.
    Traditional approaches to moral psychology assumed that moral judgments resulted from the application of explicit commitments, such as those embodied in consequentialist or deontological philosophies. In contrast, recent work suggests that moral judgments often result from unconscious or emotional processes, with explicit commitments generated post hoc. This paper explores the intermediate position that moral commitments mediate moral judgments, but not through their explicit and consistent application in the course of judgment. An experiment with 336 (...)
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  4.  21
    Tania Lombrozo (2006). The Structure and Function of Explanations. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 10 (10):464-470.
    Generating and evaluating explanations is spontaneous, ubiquitous and fundamental to our sense of understanding. Recent evidence suggests that in the course of an individual’s reasoning, engaging in explanation can have profound effects on the probability assigned to causal claims, on how properties are generalized and on learning. These effects follow from two properties of the structure of explanations: explanations accommodate novel information in the context of prior beliefs, and do so in a way that fosters generalization. The study of explanation (...)
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  5.  15
    Tania Lombrozo (2009). Explanation and Categorization: How “Why?” Informs “What?”. Cognition 110 (2):248-253.
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  6.  52
    Daniel A. Wilkenfeld, Dillon Plunkett & Tania Lombrozo (2016). Depth and Deference: When and Why We Attribute Understanding. Philosophical Studies 173 (2):373-393.
    Four experiments investigate the folk concept of “understanding,” in particular when and why it is deployed differently from the concept of knowledge. We argue for the positions that people have higher demands with respect to explanatory depth when it comes to attributing understanding, and that this is true, in part, because understanding attributions play a functional role in identifying experts who should be heeded with respect to the general field in question. These claims are supported by our findings that people (...)
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  7.  13
    Dylan Murray & Tania Lombrozo (2016). Effects of Manipulation on Attributions of Causation, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility. Cognitive Science 40 (4).
    If someone brings about an outcome without intending to, is she causally and morally responsible for it? What if she acts intentionally, but as the result of manipulation by another agent? Previous research has shown that an agent's mental states can affect attributions of causal and moral responsibility to that agent, but little is known about what effect one agent's mental states can have on attributions to another agent. In Experiment 1, we replicate findings that manipulation lowers attributions of responsibility (...)
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  8.  95
    Joshua Knobe, Tania Lombrozo & Edouard Machery (2010). Editorial: Psychology and Experimental Philosophy. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2):157-160.
    Recent years have seen an explosion of new work at the intersection of philosophy and experimental psychology. This work takes the concerns with moral and conceptual issues that have so long been associated with philosophy and connects them with the use of systematic and well-controlled empirical investigations that one more typically finds in psychology. Work in this new field often goes under the name "experimental philosophy".
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  9. James Genone & Tania Lombrozo (2012). Concept Possession, Experimental Semantics, and Hybrid Theories of Reference. Philosophical Psychology 25 (5):1-26.
    Contemporary debates about the nature of semantic reference have tended to focus on two competing approaches: theories which emphasize the importance of descriptive information associated with a referring term, and those which emphasize causal facts about the conditions under which the use of the term originated and was passed on. Recent empirical work by Machery and colleagues suggests that both causal and descriptive information can play a role in judgments about the reference of proper names, with findings of cross-cultural variation (...)
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  10.  29
    Joseph J. Williams & Tania Lombrozo (2010). The Role of Explanation in Discovery and Generalization: Evidence From Category Learning. Cognitive Science 34 (5):776-806.
    Research in education and cognitive development suggests that explaining plays a key role in learning and generalization: When learners provide explanations—even to themselves—they learn more effectively and generalize more readily to novel situations. This paper proposes and tests a subsumptive constraints account of this effect. Motivated by philosophical theories of explanation, this account predicts that explaining guides learners to interpret what they are learning in terms of unifying patterns or regularities, which promotes the discovery of broad generalizations. Three experiments provide (...)
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  11.  3
    Caren M. Walker, Tania Lombrozo, Cristine H. Legare & Alison Gopnik (2014). Explaining Prompts Children to Privilege Inductively Rich Properties. Cognition 133 (2):343-357.
    Two studies examined the specificity of effects of explanation on learning by prompting 3- to 6-year-old children to explain a mechanical toy and comparing what they learned about the toy’s causal and non-causal properties to children who only observed the toy, both with and without accompanying verbalization. In Study 1, children were experimentally assigned to either explain or observe the mechanical toy. In Study 2, children were classified according to whether the content of their response to an undirected prompt involved (...)
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  12.  67
    Joshua Knobe, Tania Lombrozo & Edouard Machery (2010). Editorial: Dimensions of Experimental Philosophy. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3):315-318.
    Editorial: Dimensions of Experimental Philosophy Content Type Journal Article Pages 315-318 DOI 10.1007/s13164-010-0037-9 Authors Joshua Knobe, Program in Cognitive Science and Department of Philosophy, Yale University, New Haven, CT USA Tania Lombrozo, Department of Psychology, UC Berkeley, 3210 Tolman Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA Edouard Machery, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, 1017 CL, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA Journal Review of Philosophy and Psychology Online ISSN 1878-5166 Print ISSN 1878-5158 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal (...)
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  13.  39
    Tania Lombrozo (2011). The Instrumental Value of Explanations. Philosophy Compass 6 (8):539-551.
    Scientific and ‘intuitive’ or ‘folk’ theories are typically characterized as serving three critical functions: prediction, explanation, and control. While prediction and control have clear instrumental value, the value of explanation is less transparent. This paper reviews an emerging body of research from the cognitive sciences suggesting that the process of seeking, generating, and evaluating explanations in fact contributes to future prediction and control, albeit indirectly by facilitating the discovery and confirmation of instrumentally valuable theories. Theoretical and empirical considerations also suggest (...)
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  14.  9
    Joseph Jay Williams & Tania Lombrozo (2010). Explanation Constrains Learning, and Prior Knowledge Constrains Explanation. In S. Ohlsson & R. Catrambone (eds.), Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society
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  15.  8
    Joseph Jay Williams, Tania Lombrozo & Bob Rehder (2010). Why Does Explaining Help Learning? Insight From an Explanation Impairment Effect. In S. Ohlsson & R. Catrambone (eds.), Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society
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  16.  8
    Tania Lombrozo (2011). The Campaign for Concepts. Dialogue 50 (1):165-177.
    In his book Doing Without Concepts, Edouard Machery argues that cognitive scientists should reject the concept of “concept” as a natural, psychological kind. I review and critique several of Machery’s arguments, focusing on his definition of “concept” and on claims against the possibility and utility of a unified account of concepts. In particular, I suggest ways in which prototype, exemplar, and theory-theory approaches to concepts might be integrated.
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  17.  6
    Tania Lombrozo & Kevin Uttich (2010). Putting Normativity in its Proper Place. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):344 - 345.
    Knobe considers two explanations for the influence of moral considerations on cognitive systems: the position, and the position. We suggest that this dichotomy conflates questions at computational and algorithmic levels, and suggest that distinguishing the issues at these levels reveals a third, viable option, which we call the position.
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  18.  1
    Azzurra Ruggeri & Tania Lombrozo (2015). Children Adapt Their Questions to Achieve Efficient Search. Cognition 143:203-216.
    One way to learn about the world is by asking questions. We investigate how younger children (7- to 8-year-olds), older children (9- to 11-year-olds), and young adults (17- to 18-year-olds) ask questions to identify the cause of an event. We find a developmental shift in children’s reliance on hypothesis-scanning questions (which test hypotheses directly) versus constraint-seeking questions (which reduce the space of hypotheses), but also that all age groups ask more constraint-seeking questions when hypothesis-scanning questions are least likely to pay (...)
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  19.  3
    Tania Lombrozo (2010). From Conceptual Representations to Explanatory Relations. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3):218-219.
    Machery emphasizes the centrality of explanation for theory-based approaches to concepts. I endorse Machery's emphasis on explanation and consider recent advances in psychology that point to the of explanation, with consequences for Machery's heterogeneity hypothesis about concepts.
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  20.  29
    Tania Lombrozo, Shaun Nichols & Joshua Knobe (eds.) (2014). Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    The new interdisciplinary field of experimental philosophy has emerged as the methods of psychological science have been brought to bear on traditional philosophical issues. Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy will be the place to go to see outstanding new work in the field, by both philosophers and psychologists.
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  21. Tania Lombrozo & Daniel Wilkenfeld (2015). Inference to the Best Explanation Versus Explaining for the Best Inference. Science and Education 24 (9 - 10):1059-1077.
    In pedagogical contexts and in everyday life, we often come to believe something because it would best explain the data. What is it about the explanatory endeavor that makes it essential to everyday learning and to scientific progress? There are at least two plausible answers. On one view, there is something special about having true explanations. This view is highly intuitive: it’s clear why true explanations might improve one’s epistemic position. However, there is another possibility—it could be that the process (...)
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  22. Tania Lombrozo, Susan Carey, Joana Cholin, Willem Jm Levelt, Niels O. Schiller, Rebecca J. Woods & Teresa Wilcox (2006). Lyn Frazier, Maria Nella Carminati, Anne E. Cook, Helen Majewski and Keith Rayner (University of Massachusetts) Semantic Evaluation of Syntactic Structure: Evidence From Eye Movements, B53–B62 Andrea Weber (Saarland University), Martine Grice (University of Cologne) and Matthew W. Crocker (Saarland University). [REVIEW] Cognition 99:385-387.
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  23. Tania Lombrozo, Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.) (2014). Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy: Volume 1. Oxford University Press Uk.
    The new field of experimental philosophy has emerged as the methods of psychological science have been brought to bear on traditional philosophical issues. Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy will be the place to go to see outstanding new work in the field. It will feature papers by philosophers, papers by psychologists, and papers co-authored by people in both disciplines. The series heralds the emergence of a truly interdisciplinary field in which people from different disciplines are working together to address a (...)
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  24. Kevin Uttich, George Tsai & Tania Lombrozo (2014). Exploring Metaethical Commitments: Moral Objectivity and Moral Progress. In Hagop Sarkissian Jennifer Cole Wright (ed.), Advances in Experimental Moral Psychology. Bloomsbury 188-208.
     
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