Synthese 193 (4):1107-1126 (2016)

Causal Bayes nets have been developed in philosophy, statistics, and computer sciences to provide a formalism to represent causal structures, to induce causal structure from data and to derive predictions. Causal Bayes nets have been used as psychological theories in at least two ways. They were used as rational, computational models of causal reasoning and they were used as formal models of mental causal models. A crucial assumption made by them is the Markov condition, which informally states that variables are independent of other variables that are not their direct or indirect effects conditional on their immediate causes. Whether people’s inferences conform to the causal Markov and the faithfulness condition has recently been investigated empirically. A review of respective research indicates that inferences frequently violate these conditions. This finding challenges some uses of causal Bayes nets in psychology. They entail that causal Bayes nets may not be appropriate to derive predictions for causal model theories of causal reasoning. They also question whether causal Bayes nets as a rational model are empirically descriptive. They do not challenge, however, causal Bayes nets as normative models and their usage as formal models of causal reasoning
Keywords Causal Bayes nets  Rational models  Psychological theories  Causal learning and reasoning  Empirical research
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-015-0734-0
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 72,607
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

View all 31 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Two Causal Theories of Counterfactual Conditionals.Lance J. Rips - 2010 - Cognitive Science 34 (2):175-221.
The Causal Problem of Entanglement.Paul Näger - 2016 - Synthese 193 (4):1127-1155.
Do We “Do‘?Steven A. Sloman & David A. Lagnado - 2005 - Cognitive Science 29 (1):5-39.
The Three Faces of Faithfulness.Jiji Zhang & Peter Spirtes - 2016 - Synthese 193 (4):1011-1027.


Added to PP index

Total views
55 ( #210,127 of 2,533,646 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #260,225 of 2,533,646 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes