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)
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)
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)
Recent claims contrast relief experienced because a period of unpleasant uncertainty has ended and an outcome has materialized (temporal relief)—regardless of whether it is one’s preferred outcome—with relief experienced because a particular outcome has occurred, when the alternative was unpalatable (counterfactual relief). Two studies (N = 993), one run the day after the United Kingdom left the European Union and one the day after Joe Biden’s inauguration, confirmed these claims. “Leavers” and Biden voters experienced high levels of relief, and less (...) regret and disappointment than “Remainers” and Trump voters. “Remainers” and Trump voters showed an effect of precursor, experiencing little relief about the outcome that had occurred but stronger relief that a decision had been implemented. Only Trump voters who believed the election was over showed this precursor effect. Results suggest at least two different triggering conditions for relief and indicate a role for anticipated relief in voting behavior. (shrink)
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.