Without inductive reasoning, we couldn't generalize from one instance to another, derive scientific hypotheses, or predict that the sun will rise again tomorrow morning. Despite the widespread nature of inductive reasoning, books on this topic are rare. Indeed, this is the first book on the psychology of inductive reasoning in twenty years. The chapters survey recent advances in the study of inductive reasoning and address questions about how it develops, the role of knowledge in induction, how best to model people's (...) reasoning, and how induction relates to other forms of thinking. Written by experts in philosophy, developmental science, cognitive psychology, and computational modeling, the contributions here will be of interest to a general cognitive science audience as well as to those with a more specialized interest in the study of thinking. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that it is often adaptive to use one's background beliefs when interpreting information that, from a normative point of view, is incomplete. In both of the experiments reported here participants were presented with an item possessing two features and were asked to judge, in the light of some evidence concerning the features, to which of two categories it was more likely that the item belonged. It was found that when participants received evidence relevant to just (...) one of these hypothesised categories they used their background beliefs to interpret this information. In Experiment 2, on the other hand, participants behaved in a broadly Bayesian manner when the evidence they received constituted a completed likelihood ratio. We discuss the circumstances under which participants, when making their judgements, consider the alternative hypothesis. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our results for an understanding of hypothesis testing, belief revision, and categorisation. (shrink)
Four experiments investigated how people judge the plausibility of category-based arguments, focusing on the diversity effect, in which arguments with diverse premise categories are considered particularly strong. In Experiment 1 we show that priming people as to the nature of the blank property determines whether sensitivity to diversity is observed. In Experiment 2 we find that people's hypotheses about the nature of the blank property predict judgements of argument strength. In Experiment 3 we examine the effect of our priming methodology (...) on people's tendency to bring knowledge about causality or similarity to bear when evaluating arguments, and in Experiment 4 we show that whether people's hypotheses about the nature of the blank property were causal predicted ratings of argument strength. Together these results suggest that diversity effects occur because diverse premises lead people to bring general features of the premise categories to mind. Although our findings are broadly consistent with Bayesian and Relevance-based approaches to category-based inductive reasoning, neither approach captures all of our findings. (shrink)
Three experiments investigated the effect of rarity on people's selection and interpretation of data in a variant of the pseudodiagnosticity task. For familiar (Experiment 1) but not for arbitrary (Experiment 3) materials, participants were more likely to select evidence so as to complete a likelihood ratio when the initial evidence they received was a single likelihood concerning a rare feature. This rarity effect with familiar materials was replicated in Experiment 2 where it was shown that participants were relatively insensitive to (...) explicit manipulations of the likely diagnosticity of rare evidence. In contrast to the effects for data selection, there was an effect of rarity on confidence ratings after receipt of a single likelihood for arbitrary but not for familiar materials. It is suggested that selecting diagnostic evidence necessitates explicit consideration of the alternative hypothesis and that consideration of the possible consequences of the evidence for the alternative weakens the rarity effect in confidence ratings. Paradoxically, although rarity effects in evidence selection and confidence ratings are in the spirit of Bayesian reasoning, the effect on confidence ratings appears to rely on participants thinking less about the alternative hypothesis. (shrink)
Gigerenzer, Todd, and the ABC Research Group argue that optimisation under constraints leads to an infinite regress due to decisions about how much information to consider when deciding. In certain cases, however, their fast and frugal heuristics lead instead to an endless series of decisions about how best to decide.
We describe evidence that certain inductive phenomena are associated with IQ, that different inductive phenomena emerge at different ages, and that the effects of causal knowledge on induction are decreased under conditions of memory load. On the basis of this evidence we argue that there is more to inductive reasoning than semantic cognition.
ABSTRACTRegret over missed opportunities leads adults to take more risks. Given recent evidence that the ability to experience regret impacts decisions made by 6-year-olds, and pronounced interest in the antecedents to risk taking in adolescence, we investigated the age at which a relationship between missed opportunities and risky decision-making emerges, and whether that relationship changes at different points in development. Six- and 8-year-olds, adolescents and adults completed a sequential risky decision-making task on which information about missed opportunities was available. Children (...) also completed a task designed to measure their ability to report regret when explicitly prompted to do so. The relationship between missed opportunities and risky decision-making did not emerge until 8 years, at which age it was associated with the ability to explicitly report regret, and was stronger in adults than in adolescents. These novel results highlight the potential importance of the ability to experience r... (shrink)
Byrne's approach to the semifactual conditional captures the reasoning data. However, we argue that it does not account for the processes or principles by which people arrive at representations of even-if conditionals, upon which their reasoning is said to be based. Drawing upon recent work on the suppositional conditional we present such an account.
We are neither as pessimistic nor as optimistic as Elqayam & Evans (E&E). The consequences of normativism have not been uniformly disastrous, even among the examples they consider. However, normativism won't be going away any time soon and in the literature on causal Bayes nets new debates about normativism are emerging. Finally, we suggest that to concentrate on expert reasoners as an antidote to normativism may limit the contribution of research on thinking to basic psychological science.
The role of the gods in the classical world's epic tradition has long been the subject of controversy. In the first book to discuss the problem of the gods across the entire classical literary tradition, rather than in a few individual works, Professor Feeney draws upon the writings of the ancient critics, and looks in detail at the work of the poets themselves.
In 2012, a new and promising gene manipulation technique, CRISPR-Cas9, was announced that seems likely to be a foundational technique in health care and agriculture. However, patents have been granted. As with other technological developments, there are concerns of social justice regarding inequalities in access. Given the technologies’ “foundational” nature and societal impact, it is vital for such concerns to be translated into workable recommendations for policymakers and legislators. Colin Farrelly has proposed a moral justification for the use of patents (...) to speed up the arrival of technology by encouraging innovation and investment. While sympathetic to his argument, this article highlights a number of problems. By examining the role of patents in CRISPR and in two previous foundational technologies, we make some recommendations for realistic and workable guidelines for patenting and licensing. (shrink)
Rawls’ principle of fair equality of opportunity has been regularly discussed and criticized for being inadequate regarding natural inequalities. In so far as this egalitarian goal is sound, the purpose of the paper is to see how the prospect of radical genetic intervention might affect this particular inadequacy. I propose that, in a post-genetic setting, an appropriate response would be to extend the same rules regulating societal inequalities to a regulation of comparable genetic inequalities. I defend this stance against recent (...) arguments from the authors of From Chance to Choice and from Colin Farrelly’s alternative of the genetic difference principle. (shrink)
Leibniz claims that God acts in the best possible way, and that this includes creating exactly one world. But worlds are aggregates, and aggregates have a low degree of reality or metaphysical perfection, perhaps none at all. This is Leibniz’s tendency toward acosmism, or the view that there this no such thing as creation-as-a-whole. Many interpreters reconcile Leibniz’s acosmist tendency with the high value of worlds by proposing that God sums the value of each substance created, so that the best (...) world is just the world with the most substances. I call this way of determining the value of a world the Additive Theory of Value (ATV), and argue that it leads to the current and insoluble form of the problem of incompossibility. To avoid the problem, I read “possible worlds” in “God chooses the best of all possible worlds” as referring to God’s ideas of worlds. These ideas, though built up from essences, are themselves unities and so well suited to be the value bearers that Leibniz’s theodicy requires. They have their own value, thanks to their unity, and that unity is not preserved when more essences are added. (shrink)
At the age of twenty-five, Gn. Pompeius acquired the spectacular cognomen of Magnus. According to Plutarch, the name came either from the acclamation of his army in Africa, or at the instigation of Sulla. According to Livy, the practice began from the toadying of Pompeius' circle. The cognomen invited play. At the Ludi Apollinares of July 59, Cicero tells us, the actor Diphilus won ‘a dozen encores’ when he pronounced, from a lost tragedy, the line ‘nostra miseria tu es magnus’. (...) Four or five years later Catullus scored a fine hit, filching Pompeius' cognomen and giving it to his zealously competitive father-in-law: ‘Caesaris uisens monimenta magni’. In Lucan's Bellum Civile such plays on the cognomen are elevated into something of considerable power, testifying to a consistent controlling design, of the sort which many still deny the poem. When Pompeius first appears he is compared with Caesar, to his detriment: ‘nec coiere pares’. So much for Pompeius' vaunted intolerance of an equal, of which we have just been reminded: ‘nec quemquam iam ferre potest Caesarue priorem | Pompeiusue parem’. Many of the images in this introductory section have a programmatic power, and will recur. With ‘nec coiere pares’ Lucan presents the two as an ill-matched pair of gladiators. The metaphor is ubiquitous. Note, in particular, 5.1–3, and 6.3, ‘parque suum uidere dei’. We are further told that Pompeius seeks ‘fama’, is a ‘popularis’, indulges the people, basks in the applause he receives from the mob in his theatre: ‘famaeque petitor | multa dare in uolgus, totus popularibus auris | impelli plausuque sui gaudere theatri’. We will return later to this complex of ideas. (shrink)
The reconciliation between Juno and Jupiter at the end of the Aeneid forms the cap to the divine action of the poem. The scene is conventionally regarded as the resolution of the heavenly discord that has prevailed since the first book; in particular, it is normal to see here a definitive transformation of Juno, as she abandons, her enmity once and for all, committing herself wholeheartedly to the Roman cause. So G. Lieberg, for example: ‘I due emisferi di Giove e (...) di Giunone alia fine del poema si ricongiungono nella totalita del mondo divino, garante del glorioso futuro di Roma’ or W. Kiihn: ‘In einem strahlenden, vollen Schlussakkord endet das Gottergesprach.’. (shrink)
This book examines the transition from the perspective of adult attachment theory. It reviews previous studies of the transition to parenthood and of adult attachments, and presents the results of a comprehensive new study of parenthood. In this study, the researchers followed the experiences of approximately 100 couples who were becoming parents for the first time, together with a comparison sample of couples who were not planning to have a child at this stage. Couples were assessed on four occasions: during (...) the second trimester of pregnancy, and 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months post-birth. The book addresses such key issues as the division of domestic labor, the changing nature of couples' marital relationships, changes in new parents' attachment networks, postnatal depression, and factors predicting the ease of the transition. (shrink)
At the age of twenty-five, Gn. Pompeius acquired the spectacular cognomen of Magnus. According to Plutarch , the name came either from the acclamation of his army in Africa, or at the instigation of Sulla. According to Livy, the practice began from the toadying of Pompeius' circle . The cognomen invited play. At the Ludi Apollinares of July 59, Cicero tells us, the actor Diphilus won ‘a dozen encores’ when he pronounced, from a lost tragedy, the line ‘nostra miseria tu (...) es magnus’. Four or five years later Catullus scored a fine hit, filching Pompeius' cognomen and giving it to his zealously competitive father-in-law: ‘Caesaris uisens monimenta magni’ . In Lucan's Bellum Civile such plays on the cognomen are elevated into something of considerable power, testifying to a consistent controlling design, of the sort which many still deny the poem. When Pompeius first appears he is compared with Caesar, to his detriment: ‘nec coiere pares’ . So much for Pompeius' vaunted intolerance of an equal, of which we have just been reminded: ‘nec quemquam iam ferre potest Caesarue priorem | Pompeiusue parem’ . Many of the images in this introductory section have a programmatic power, and will recur. With ‘nec coiere pares’ Lucan presents the two as an ill-matched pair of gladiators. The metaphor is ubiquitous. Note, in particular, 5.1–3, and 6.3, ‘parque suum uidere dei’. We are further told that Pompeius seeks ‘fama’, is a ‘popularis’, indulges the people, basks in the applause he receives from the mob in his theatre: ‘famaeque petitor | multa dare in uolgus, totus popularibus auris | impelli plausuque sui gaudere theatri’ . We will return later to this complex of ideas. (shrink)
Aeneas' speech of defence before Dido is the longest and most controversial he delivers. Although by no means typical, it can open up some revealing perspectives over the rest of the poem. The exchange between the two, having as its kernel a dispute over obligations and responsibilities, requires some words of context. The early part of the book describes the establishment of a liaison between the refugee leaders, while revealing amongst the poem's characters a wide discrepancy of opinion over the (...) nature of that liaison. Juno announces that she will arrange the marriage of the couple ; after the ensuing marriage-parody of the cave-scene , Dido also calls what now exists a ‘marriage’: coniugium uocat, hocpraetexit nomine culpam . Fama too, moving around Libya, speaks as if Dido has taken Aeneas for husband . But the local King Iarbas regards Aeneas as a pirate who has carried off a successful job of plunder , while Jupiter looks down from heaven and sees ‘lovers’, amantis . Mercury is able to address Aeneas as uxorius. (shrink)