Relevance and Reason Relations

Cognitive Science 41 (S5):1202-1215 (2017)
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Abstract

This paper examines precursors and consequents of perceived relevance of a proposition A for a proposition C. In Experiment 1, we test Spohn's assumption that ∆P = P − P is a good predictor of ratings of perceived relevance and reason relations, and we examine whether it is a better predictor than the difference measure − P). In Experiment 2, we examine the effects of relevance on probabilistic coherence in Cruz, Baratgin, Oaksford, and Over's uncertain “and-to-if” inferences. The results suggest that ∆P predicts perceived relevance and reason relations better than the difference measure and that participants are either less probabilistically coherent in “and-to-if” inferences than initially assumed or that they do not follow P = P. Results are discussed in light of recent results suggesting that the Equation may not hold under conditions of irrelevance or negative relevance.

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Niels Skovgaard-Olsen
University of Freiburg

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