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Mem Cognit. 2000 Apr;28(3):415-26.

Causal judgment from contingency information: relation between subjective reports and individual tendencies in judgment.

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School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Wales.


In two experiments, participants made causal judgments from contingency information for problems with different objective contingencies. After the judgment task, the participants reported how their judgments had changed following each type of contingency information. Some reported idiosyncratic tendencies--in other words, tendencies contrary to those expected under associative-learning and normative rule induction models of contingency judgment. These idiosyncratic reports tended to be better predictors of the judgments of those who made them than did the models. The results are consistent with the view that causal judgment from contingency information is made, at least in part, by deliberative use of acquired and sometimes idiosyncratic notions of evidential value, the outcomes of which tend, in aggregate, to be highly correlated with the outcomes of normative procedures.

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