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Communicating and reasoning with verbal probability expressions

Communicating and reasoning with verbal probability expressions

Collins, Peter ORCID: 0000-0003-4831-2524 and Hahn, Ulrike (2018) Communicating and reasoning with verbal probability expressions. In: Federmeier, Kara, (ed.) Psychology of Learning and Motivation. Academic Press, pp. 67-105. ISBN 978-0128150856 ISSN 0079-7421 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.plm.2018.10.003)

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Abstract

We frequently communicate risk and uncertainty with verbal probability expressions (VPE): expressions such as "unlikely", "possible", and "likely". Such expressions are, it is believed, so vaguely understood that there is an "illusion of communication": speaker and hearer believe that they understand each other but, in fact, do not. In this chapter we question the strength of the evidence for the illusion of communication, and argue that the literature on VPEs has neglected the social and communicative contexts of communicating and reasoning with verbal probability expressions. We call on research on meaning in its social and communicative contexts - on natural-language pragmatics. We use this work to discuss existing research. Studying the social and communicative context may provide a route to revealing genuine, meaningful communication about risk and uncertainty. Future research of this kind may help to improve the communication of risk and uncertainty.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: judgment and decision making, reasoning, pragmatics, semantics, verbal probability expressions, risk communication
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2020 18:08
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/28094

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