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Simon Cullen
Carnegie Mellon University
  1. Survey-Driven Romanticism.Simon Cullen - 2010 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2):275-296.
    Despite well-established results in survey methodology, many experimental philosophers have not asked whether and in what way conclusions about folk intuitions follow from people’s responses to their surveys. Rather, they appear to have proceeded on the assumption that intuitions can be simply read off from survey responses. Survey research, however, is fraught with difficulties. I review some of the relevant literature—particularly focusing on the conversational pragmatic aspects of survey research—and consider its application to common experimental philosophy surveys. I argue for (...)
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  2. When Do Circumstances Excuse? Moral Prejudices and Beliefs About the True Self Drive Preferences for Agency-Minimizing Explanations.Simon Cullen - 2018 - Cognition 180:165-181.
    When explaining human actions, people usually focus on a small subset of potential causes. What leads us to prefer certain explanations for valenced actions over others? The present studies indicate that our moral attitudes often predict our explanatory preferences far better than our beliefs about how causally sensitive actions are to features of the actor's environment. Study 1 found that high-prejudice participants were much more likely to endorse non-agential explanations of an erotic same-sex encounter, such as that one of the (...)
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  3. Short Report on Initial Political Polarization/Argument Visualization Study.Simon Cullen & Vidushi Sharma - manuscript
    This document provides a brief report on initial research into how argument presentation (visual map vs. regular prose) affects people's susceptibility to confirmation bias as well as their feelings toward political opponents. Using highly polarizing stimuli, we found that argument visualization substantially reduced confirmation bias and, for participants with low CRT scores, the belief that one's political opponents are morally evil.
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    Improving Analytical Reasoning and Argument Understanding: A Quasi-Experimental Field Study of Argument Visualization with First-Year Undergraduates.Simon Cullen, Adam Elga, Judith Fan & Eva van der Brugge - 2018 - Npj Science of Learning 3.
    The ability to analyze arguments is critical for higher-level reasoning, yet previous research suggests that standard university education provides at best modest improvements in students’ analytical reasoning abilities. What techniques are most effective for cultivating these skills? Here we investigate the effectiveness of a 12-week undergraduate seminar in which students practice a software-based technique for visualizing the logical structures implicit in argumen- tative texts. Seminar students met weekly to analyze excerpts from contemporary analytic philosophy papers, completed argument visualization problem sets, (...)
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  5. Current Controversies in Philosophy of Cognitive Science.Adam Lerner, Simon Cullen & Sarah-Jane Leslie (eds.) - forthcoming - Routledge.
    Cognitive science poses a variety of philosophical questions. In this forthcoming volume, leading researchers debate five core questions in the Philosophy of Cognitive Science: Is Universal Grammar required to explain our linguistic capacities? Are some of our concepts innate or are they all learned? What role do our bodies play in cognition? Can neuroscience help us understand the mind? Can cognitive science help us understand human morality? The volume contains two accessible essays on each topic, each advocating for an opposing (...)
     
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