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ERIC Number: EJ859934
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 113
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0033-2909
Property Transmission: An Explanatory Account of the Role of Similarity Information in Causal Inference
White, Peter A.
Psychological Bulletin, v135 n5 p774-793 Sep 2009
Many kinds of common and easily observed causal relations exhibit property transmission, which is a tendency for the causal object to impose its own properties on the effect object. It is proposed that property transmission becomes a general and readily available hypothesis used to make interpretations and judgments about causal questions under conditions of uncertainty, in which property transmission functions as a heuristic. The property transmission hypothesis explains why and when similarity information is used in causal inference. It can account for magical contagion beliefs, some cases of illusory correlation, the correspondence bias, overestimation of cross-situational consistency in behavior, nonregressive tendencies in prediction, the belief that acts of will are causes of behavior, and a range of other phenomena. People learn that property transmission is often moderated by other factors, but under conditions of uncertainty in which the operation of relevant other factors is unknown, it tends to exhibit a pervasive influence on thinking about causality. (Contains 3 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail: order@apa.org; Web site: http://www.apa.org/publications
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A