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Conditionals and testimony

Conditionals and testimony

Collins, Peter J. ORCID: 0000-0003-4831-2524, Krzyzanowska, Karolina, Hartmann, Stephan, Wheeler, Gregory and Hahn, Ulrike (2020) Conditionals and testimony. Cognitive Psychology, 122:101329. ISSN 0010-0285 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogpsych.2020.101329)

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Abstract

Conditionals and conditional reasoning have been a long-standing focus of research across a number of disciplines, ranging from psychology through linguistics to philosophy. But almost no work has concerned itself with the question of how hearing or reading a conditional changes our beliefs. Given that we acquire much—perhaps most—of what we believe through the testimony of others, the simple matter of acquiring conditionals via others’ assertion of a conditional seems integral to any full understanding of the conditional and conditional reasoning. In this paper we detail a number of basic intuitions about how beliefs might change in response to a conditional being uttered, and show how these are backed by behavioral data. In the remainder of the paper, we then show how these deceptively simple phenomena pose a fundamental challenge to present theoretical accounts of the conditional and conditional reasoning – a challenge which no account presently fully meets.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Conditionals, testimony, belief updating, reasoning, Bayesian modeling
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: 02 Sep 2020 10:56
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: REF 3
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/28809

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