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Nested Sets and Natural Frequencies

Dewitt, S; Hsu, A; Lagnado, D; Connor-Desai, S; Fenton, N; (2019) Nested Sets and Natural Frequencies. In: Goel, A and Seifert, C and Freksa, C, (eds.) COGSCI'19: Creativity+Cognition+Computation. (pp. pp. 1633-1639). Cognitive Science Society: Montreal, Canada. Green open access

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Abstract

Is the nested sets approach to improving accuracy on Bayesian word problems simply a way of prompting a natural frequencies solution, as its critics claim? Conversely, is it in fact, as its advocates claim, a more fundamental explanation of why the natural frequency approach itself works? Following recent calls, we use a process-focused approach to contribute to answering these long-debated questions. We also argue for a third, pragmatic way of looking at these two approaches and argue that they reveal different truths about human Bayesian reasoning. Using a think aloud methodology we show that while the nested sets approach does appear in part to work via the mechanisms theorised by advocates (by encouraging a nested sets representation), it also encourages conversion of the problem to frequencies, as its critics claim. The ramifications of these findings, as well as ways to further enhance the nested sets approach and train individuals to deal with standard probability problems are discussed.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Nested Sets and Natural Frequencies
Event: 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
Location: Montreal, Canada
Dates: 24 July 2019 - 27 July 2019
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://cognitivesciencesociety.org/cogsci-2019/
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Nested Sets; Natural frequencies; Bayesian; Base rate neglect
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/10102575
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