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From Covariation to Causation: A Test of the Assumption of Causal Power

Buehner, Marc J., Cheng, Patricia W. and Clifford, Deborah 2003. From Covariation to Causation: A Test of the Assumption of Causal Power. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition 29 (6) , pp. 1119-1140. 10.1037/0278-7393.29.6.1119

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Abstract

How humans infer causation from covariation has been the subject of a vigorous debate, most recently between the computational causal power account (P. W. Cheng, 1997) and associative learning theorists (e.g., K. Lober & D. R. Shanks, 2000). Whereas most researchers in the subject area agree that causal power as computed by the power PC theory offers a normative account of the inductive process. Lober and Shanks, among others, have questioned the empirical validity of the theory. This article offers a full report and additional analyses of the original study featured in Lober and Shanks's critique (M. J. Buehner & P. W. Cheng, 1997) and reports tests of Lober and Shanks's and other explanations of the pattern of causal judgments. Deviations from normativity, including the outcome-density bias, were found to be misperceptions of the input or other artifacts of the experimental procedures rather than inherent to the process of causal induction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: American Psychological Association
ISSN: 0278-7393
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:49
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/3268

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