Effects of Explaining Anomalies on the Generation and Evaluation of Hypotheses

Joseph Jay Williams, Caren M. Walker, Samuel G. Maldonado, Tania Lombrozo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

We investigate the effects of explaining anomalies (i.e., observations that conflict with current beliefs) on belief revision, and in particular how explaining contributes to the rejection of incorrect hypotheses, the generation of alternative hypotheses, and the selection of a hypothesis that can account for anomalous observations. Participants learned how to rank students across courses using statistical concepts of deviation, and did so while either explaining sample rankings or writing their thoughts during study. We additionally varied whether or not candidate hypotheses about the basis for ranking were presented to participants prior to learning, and the number of sample rankings that violated intuitive misconceptions about ranking. Measures of learning and coded responses suggest that prompting people to explain can increase the rate at which they entertain both correct and incorrect hypotheses, but that explaining promotes the selection of a hypothesis that can account for anomalous observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCooperative Minds
Subtitle of host publicationSocial Interaction and Group Dynamics - Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2013
EditorsMarkus Knauff, Natalie Sebanz, Michael Pauen, Ipke Wachsmuth
PublisherThe Cognitive Science Society
Pages3777-3782
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780976831891
StatePublished - 2013
Event35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society - Cooperative Minds: Social Interaction and Group Dynamics, CogSci 2013 - Berlin, Germany
Duration: Jul 31 2013Aug 3 2013

Publication series

NameCooperative Minds: Social Interaction and Group Dynamics - Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2013

Conference

Conference35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society - Cooperative Minds: Social Interaction and Group Dynamics, CogSci 2013
Country/TerritoryGermany
CityBerlin
Period7/31/138/3/13

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Keywords

  • anomalies
  • explanation
  • generalization
  • learning
  • misconceptions
  • self-explanation
  • statistics

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