Norms Affect Prospective Causal Judgments


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Abstract
People more frequently select norm-violating factors, relative to norm- conforming ones, as the cause of some outcome. Until recently, this abnormal-selection effect has been studied using only retrospective vignette-based paradigms. In within-participants designs, we use a novel set of videos to investigate this effect for prospective causal judgments—i.e., judgments about the cause of some future outcome. Three experiments show that people more frequently select norm-violating factors, relative to norm-conforming ones, as the cause of some future outcome. We discuss these results in relation to recent efforts to model causal judgment.
Keywords Causal Reasoning  Norms  Causation  Causal Judgment  Causal Selection  Experimental Philosophy
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