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Dependencies in evidential reports: The case for informational advantages

Pilditch, TD; Hahn, U; Fenton, N; Lagnado, D; (2020) Dependencies in evidential reports: The case for informational advantages. Cognition , 204 , Article 104343. 10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104343. Green open access

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Abstract

Whether assessing the accuracy of expert forecasting, the pros and cons of group communication, or the value of evidence in diagnostic or predictive reasoning, dependencies between experts, group members, or evidence have traditionally been seen as a form of redundancy. We demonstrate that this conception of dependence conflates the structure of a dependency network, and the observations across this network. By disentangling these two elements we show, via mathematical proof and specific examples, that there are cases where dependencies yield an informational advantage over independence. More precisely, when a structural dependency exists, but observations are either partial or contradicting, these observations provide more support to a hypothesis than when this structural dependency does not exist, ceteris paribus. Furthermore, we show that lay reasoners endorse sufficient assumptions underpinning these advantageous structures yet fail to appreciate their implications for probability judgments and belief revision.

Type: Article
Title: Dependencies in evidential reports: The case for informational advantages
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104343
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104343
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.
UCL classification: UCL
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/10108145
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