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Widening Access to Bayesian Problem Solving

Cruz, N; Desai, SC; Dewitt, S; Hahn, U; Lagnado, D; Liefgreen, A; Phillips, K; ... Tešić, M; + view all (2020) Widening Access to Bayesian Problem Solving. Frontiers in Psychology , 11 , Article 660. 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00660. Green open access

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Abstract

Bayesian reasoning and decision making is widely considered normative because it minimizes prediction error in a coherent way. However, it is often difficult to apply Bayesian principles to complex real world problems, which typically have many unknowns and interconnected variables. Bayesian network modeling techniques make it possible to model such problems and obtain precise predictions about the causal impact that changing the value of one variable may have on the values of other variables connected to it. But Bayesian modeling is itself complex, and has until now remained largely inaccessible to lay people. In a large scale lab experiment, we provide proof of principle that a Bayesian network modeling tool, adapted to provide basic training and guidance on the modeling process to beginners without requiring knowledge of the mathematical machinery working behind the scenes, significantly helps lay people find normative Bayesian solutions to complex problems, compared to generic training on probabilistic reasoning. We discuss the implications of this finding for the use of Bayesian network software tools in applied contexts such as security, medical, forensic, economic or environmental decision making.

Type: Article
Title: Widening Access to Bayesian Problem Solving
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00660
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00660
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10097242
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