Cognition 161:80-93 (2017)

Authors
Thomas Icard
Stanford University
Joshua Knobe
Yale University
Abstract
Existing research suggests that people's judgments of actual causation can be influenced by the degree to which they regard certain events as normal. We develop an explanation for this phenomenon that draws on standard tools from the literature on graphical causal models and, in particular, on the idea of probabilistic sampling. Using these tools, we propose a new measure of actual causal strength. This measure accurately captures three effects of normality on causal judgment that have been observed in existing studies. More importantly, the measure predicts a new effect ("abnormal deflation"). Two studies show that people's judgments do, in fact, show this new effect. Taken together, the patterns of people's causal judgments thereby provide support for the proposed explanation.
Keywords Causation   Causal Cognition
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DOI 10.1016/j.cognition.2017.01.010
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References found in this work BETA

The Direction of Time.Hans Reichenbach - 1956 - Dover Publications.
Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
Making Things Happen. A Theory of Causal Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):233-249.
Causality.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Cause and Burn.David Rose, Eric Sievers & Shaun Nichols - 2021 - Cognition 207 (104517):104517.
How We Know What Not To Think.Jonathan Phillips, Adam Morris & Fiery Cushman - 2019 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 23 (12):1026-1040.
Counterfactual Theories of Causation.Peter Menzies - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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