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ERIC Number: EJ778772
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Nov
Pages: 57
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0285
Models of Causation and the Semantics of Causal Verbs
Wolff, Phillip; Song, Grace
Cognitive Psychology, v47 n3 p276-332 Nov 2003
This research examines the relationship between the concept of CAUSE as it is characterized in psychological models of causation and the meaning of causal verbs, such as the verb "cause" itself. According to focal set models of causation ([Cheng (1997]; [Cheng and Novick (1991 and Cheng and Novick (1992]), the concept of CAUSE should be more similar to the concepts of ENABLE and PREVENT than either is to each other. According to a model based on [Talmy (1988] theory of force dynamics, the force dynamic model, the concepts of CAUSE, ENABLE, and PREVENT should be roughly equally similar to one another. The relationship between these predictions and the meaning of causal verbs was examined by having participants sort causal verbs and rate them with respect to the dimensions specified by the two models. The results from five experiments indicated that the force dynamic model provides a better account of the meaning of causal verbs than do focal set models of causation. Implications for causal inference and induction are discussed. [This work was supported in part by The University of Memphis Faculty Research Grant Fund.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A