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Bayesian Rational Models and Human Rationality

Wolf, Jonathan; (2018) Bayesian Rational Models and Human Rationality. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

According to a large, influential psychological literature, humans are predictably irrational. Proponents of the heuristics-and-biases programme argue that our mental software leads us to diverge from elementary principles of probability and decision theory. Similarly, reasoning scientists have catalogued surprising human errors in drawing basic logical inferences. However, insights from Bayesian cognitive science appear to recommend a more optimistic evaluation of human rationality, highlighting our exquisite sensitivity to the statistical structure of the environment and the laws of probability theory. Does Bayesian cognitive science vindicate us of the charge of irrationality that the heuristics-and-biases approach levels? I argue that Bayesian cognitive science paints a picture of the mind-brain as more intelligent, more subtle, more sophisticated and more sensitive to context than that painted by heuristics-and-biases psychology, however it does not ultimately vindicate us of the charge of systematic irrationality that the heuristics-and-biases paradigm levels.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Bayesian Rational Models and Human Rationality
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2018. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10062501
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