ERIC Number: EJ1092204
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Using Alien Coins to Test Whether Simple Inference Is Bayesian
Cassey, Peter; Hawkins, Guy E.; Donkin, Chris; Brown, Scott D.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v42 n3 p497-503 Mar 2016
Reasoning and inference are well-studied aspects of basic cognition that have been explained as statistically optimal Bayesian inference. Using a simplified experimental design, we conducted quantitative comparisons between Bayesian inference and human inference at the level of individuals. In 3 experiments, with more than 13,000 participants, we asked people for prior and posterior inferences about the probability that 1 of 2 coins would generate certain outcomes. Most participants' inferences were inconsistent with Bayes' rule. Only in the simplest version of the task did the majority of participants adhere to Bayes' rule, but even in that case, there was a significant proportion that failed to do so. The current results highlight the importance of close quantitative comparisons between Bayesian inference and human data at the individual-subject level when evaluating models of cognition.
Descriptors: Experiments, Inferences, Bayesian Statistics, Probability, Task Analysis, Comparative Analysis, Cognitive Processes, Prior Learning
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.apa.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A