Everyday cognition reveals a sophisticated capacity to seek, generate, and evaluate explanations for the social and physical worlds around us. Why are we so driven to explain, and what accounts for our systematic explanatory preferences? This chapter reviews evidence from cognitive psychology and cognitive development concerning the structure and function of explanations, with a focus on the role of explanations in learning and inference. The findings highlight the value of understanding explanation and abductive inference both as phenomena in their own right and for the insights they provide concerning foundational aspects of human cognition, such as representation, learning, and inference.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||The Oxford Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|State||Published - Nov 21 2012|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Abductive inference
- Inference to the best explanation