Goals Affect the Perceived Quality of Explanations

Nadya Vasilyeva, Daniel Wilkenfeld, Tania Lombrozo

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

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Do people evaluate the quality of explanations differently depending on their goals? In particular, are explanations of different kinds (formal, mechanistic, teleological) judged differently depending on the future judgments the evaluator anticipates making? We report two studies demonstrating that the perceived “goodness” of explanations depends on the evaluator's current goals, with explanations receiving a relative boost when they are based on relationships that support anticipated judgments. These findings shed light on the functions of explanation and support pragmatic and pluralist approaches to explanation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2015
EditorsDavid C. Noelle, Rick Dale, Anne Warlaumont, Jeff Yoshimi, Teenie Matlock, Carolyn D. Jennings, Paul P. Maglio
PublisherThe Cognitive Science Society
Pages2469-2474
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780991196722
StatePublished - 2015
Event37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Mind, Technology, and Society, CogSci 2015 - Pasadena, United States
Duration: Jul 23 2015Jul 25 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2015

Conference

Conference37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Mind, Technology, and Society, CogSci 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPasadena
Period7/23/157/25/15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

Keywords

  • context
  • explanation
  • goals
  • inference
  • pragmatic factors

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