Default Probability

Daniel N. Osherson, Joshua Stern, Ormond Wilkie, Michael Stob, Edward E. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


A probability may be called "default" if it is neither derived from preestablished probabilities nor based on considerations of frequency or symmetry. Default probabilities presumably arise through reasoning based on causality and similarity. This article advances a model of default probability based on a featural approach to similarity. The accuracy of the model is assessed by comparing its predictions to the probabilities provided by undergraduates asked to reason about mammals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-269
Number of pages19
JournalCognitive science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Artificial Intelligence


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