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Updating Prior Beliefs based on Ambiguous Evidence

Dewitt, S; Lagnado, D; Fenton, N; (2018) Updating Prior Beliefs based on Ambiguous Evidence. In: Kalish, C and Rau, M and Zhu, J and Rogers, TT, (eds.) COGSCI2018: Changing Minds. (pp. pp. 2047-2052). Cognitive Science Society: Madison, WI, USA. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper investigates a problem where the solver must firstly determine which of two possible causes are the source of an effect where one cause has a historically higher propensity to cause that effect. Secondly, they must update the propensity of the two causes to produce the effect in light of the observation. Firstly, we find an error commensurate with the ‘double updating’ error observed within the polarisation literature: individuals appear to first use their prior beliefs to interpret the evidence, then use the interpreted form of the evidence, rather than the raw form, when updating. Secondly, we find an error where individuals convert from a probabilistic representation of the evidence to a categorical one and use this representation when updating. Both errors have the effect of exaggerating the evidence in favour of the solver’s prior belief and could lead to confirmation bias and polarisation.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Updating Prior Beliefs based on Ambiguous Evidence
Event: 40th Annual Cognitive Science Society Meeting
Location: Madison, WI, USA
Dates: 25 July 2018 - 28 July 2018
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://cognitivesciencesociety.org/wp-content/upl...
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: Bayesian; Confirmation Bias; Polarisation; Belief Updating; Base Rates
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/10102576
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