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  1. Chess Masters' Hypothesis Testing in Games of Dynamic Equilibrium.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2016 - SSRN Econometrics: Econometric and Statistical Methods – General eJournal, Vol. 9, Issue 5: Jan 12, 2016.
    The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed technical protocol analysis of chess masters' evaluative expertise, paying particular attention to the analysis of the structure of their memory process in evaluating foreseen possibilities in games of dynamic equilibrium. The paper has two purposes. First, to publish a results chapter from my DPhil thesis (in revised journal article form) attending to the measurement of foresight in chess masters' evaluation process, testing alternative theories of cognitive expertise in the domain of (...)
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  2. Hypothesis Falsification in the 2-4-6 Number Sequence Test: Introducing Imaginary Counterparts.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2015 - Philosophy of Mind eJournal 8 (41).
    Two main cognitive theories predict that people find refuting evidence that falsifies their theorising difficult, if not impossible to consider, even though such reasoning may be pivotal to grounding their everyday thoughts in reality (i.e., Poletiek, 1996; Klayman & Ha, 1987). In the classic 2-4-6 number sequence task devised by psychologists to test such reasoning skills in a simulated environment – people fail the test more often than not. In the 2-4-6 task participants try to discover what rule the number (...)
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  3. Asymmetries in prior conviction reasoning: Truth suppression effects in child protection contexts.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2010 - Psychology, Crime and Law 3 (16):211-231.
    In three empirical studies we examined how people reason about prior convictions in child abuse cases. We tested whether the disclosure of similar prior convictions prompts a mental representation or an additive probative value (Criminal Justice Act, 2003). Asymmetrical use of similar priors were observed in three studies. A pilot study showed that disclosure of a second prior did not contribute a weight equivalent to that of the first disclosure. Study 1 showed jurors did not see left-handed evidence (i.e. matching (...)
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  4. ‘The Innocent v The Fickle Few’: How Jurors Understand Random-Match-Probabilities and Judges’ Directions when Reasoning about DNA and Refuting Evidence.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2017 - Journal of Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation 3 (5):April/May 2017.
    DNA evidence is one of the most significant modern advances in the search for truth since the cross examination, but its format as a random-match-probability makes it difficult for people to assign an appropriate probative value (Koehler, 2001). While Frequentist theories propose that the presentation of the match as a frequency rather than a probability facilitates more accurate assessment (e.g., Slovic et al., 2000), Exemplar-Cueing Theory predicts that the subjective weight assigned may be affected by the frequency or probability format, (...)
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  5. The Cognitive Perspective - Introduction to Psychology: Theory and Practice (Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Developmental Notes).Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2017 - Human Cognition in Evolution and Development eJournal 9 (22).
    This notebook presents an introductory overview to the cognitive perspective on the psychology of human behaviour for social science students. Starting with an introduction to cognitive developmental theories of how babies reason, the overview then moves to discuss how children develop into better thinkers. Adult theories of cognition are subsequently outlined and critically evaluated. -/- A chronology of topics include: the rise of 'this thing we call cognition', Piaget's theory of cognitive development and its evaluation, problem space theory, and theories (...)
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  6.  93
    Causes, Enablers and the Law.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2018 - SSRN E-Library Legal Anthropology eJournal, Archives of Vols. 1-3, 2016-2018.
    Many theories in philosophy, law, and psychology, make no distinction in meaning between causing and enabling conditions. Yet, psychologically people readily make such distinctions each day. In this paper we report three experiments, showing that individuals distinguish between causes and enabling conditions in brief descriptions of wrongful outcomes. Respondents rate actions that bring about outcomes as causes, and actions that make possible the causal relation as enablers. Likewise, causers (as opposed to enablers) are rated as more responsible for the outcome, (...)
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  7.  77
    Intended and Merely Foreseen Consequences: The Psychology of the ‘Cause or Allow’ Offence.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2012 - SSRN E-Library Maurer School of Law's Law and Society Series | Media Summary, SLSA Newsletter, Spring Issue, 2012.
    Intended and merely foreseen consequences: The psychology of the ‘cause or allow’ offence. A short report for the Socio-Legal Community on ESRC Grant RES-000-22-3114.
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  8.  77
    Lenses of Evidence – Jurors’ Evidential Reasoning. *Invited Talk –Experimental Psychology Oxford Seminar Series 2010.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2010 - SSRN E-Library Legal Anthropology eJournal, Archives of Vols. 1-3, 2016-2018.
    This paper presents empirical findings from a set of reasoning and mock jury studies presented at the Experimental Psychology Oxford Seminar Series (2010) and the King's Bench Chambers KBW Barristers Seminar Series (2010). The presentation asks the following questions and presents empirical answers using the Lenses of Evidence Framework (Cowley & Colyer, 2010; see also van Koppen & Wagenaar, 1993): -/- Why is mental representation important for psychology? -/- Why is mental representation important for evidence law? -/- Lens 1: The (...)
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  9.  71
    Introduction to Psychological Criminology: Jury Verdicts and Jury Research Methodology.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2017 - Legal Anthropology eJournal, Archives of Vols. 1-3, 2016-18 Vol. 2, Issues 248: December 20,.
    This summary note series outlines legal empirical approaches to the study of juries and jury decision-making behaviour for undergraduate students of sociology, criminology and legal systems, and forensic psychology. The note series is divided into two lectures. The first lecture attends to the background relevant to the historical rise of juries and socio-legal methodologies used to understand jury behaviour. The second lecture attends to questions surrounding jury competence, classic studies illustrative of juror bias, and a critical comparison of juries to (...)
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  10.  64
    It's Not My Fault, Your Honor, I'm Only the Enabler.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2007 - In Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Vol. 29, 2007, Extended Abstract. Nashville, TN, USA: pp. 1755.
    According to the mental model theory, causes and enablers differ in meaning, and therefore in their logical consequences (Goldvarg & Johnson-Laird, 2001). They are consistent with different possibilities. Recent psychological studies have argued to the contrary, and suggested that linguistic cues guide this distinction (Kuhnmünch & Beller, 2005). The issue is important because neither British nor American law recognizes this distinction (e.g., Roberts & Zuckerman, 2004). Yet, in our view, it is central to human conceptions of causality. Hence, in two (...)
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  11.  52
    Chess Masters' Hypothesis Testing.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2004 - In K. D. Forbus, D. Gentner & Regier (eds.), Proceedings of the Twenty- Sixth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Chicago, IL, USA: pp. pp. 250- 255..
    Falsification may demarcate science from non-science as the rational way to test the truth of hypotheses. But experimental evidence from studies of reasoning shows that people often find falsification difficult. We suggest that domain expertise may facilitate falsification. We consider new experimental data about chess experts’ hypothesis testing. The results show that chess masters were readily able to falsify their plans. They generated move sequences that falsified their plans more readily than novice players, who tended to confirm their plans. The (...)
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  12.  51
    Reasoning about Criminal Evidence: Revealing Probabilistic Reasoning Behind Logical Conclusions.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2007 - SSRN E-Library Maurer School of Law Law and Society eJournals.
    There are two competing theoretical frameworks with which cognitive sciences examines how people reason. These frameworks are broadly categorized into logic and probability. This paper reports two applied experiments to test which framework explains better how people reason about evidence in criminal cases. Logical frameworks predict that people derive conclusions from the presented evidence to endorse an absolute value of certainty such as ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ (e.g., Johnson-Laird, 1999). But probabilistic frameworks predict that people derive conclusions from the presented (...)
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  13.  51
    When Falsification is the Only Path to Truth.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2005 - In M. Bucciarelli, L. Barsalou & B. G. Bara (eds.), Proceedings of the Twenty-Seventh Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Mahwah, USA: pp. 512-517..
    Can people consistently attempt to falsify, that is, search for refuting evidence, when testing the truth of hypotheses? Experimental evidence indicates that people tend to search for confirming evidence. We report two novel experiments that show that people can consistently falsify when it is the only helpful strategy. Experiment 1 showed that participants readily falsified somebody else’s hypothesis. Their task was to test a hypothesis belonging to an ‘imaginary participant’ and they knew it was a low quality hypothesis. Experiment 2 (...)
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  14. Hypothesis Testing: How We Foresee Falsification in Competitive Games.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2017 - Saarbrücken, Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing.
    Each day people are presented with circumstances that may require speculation. Scientists may ponder questions such as why a star is born or how rainbows are made, psychologists may ask social questions such as why people are prejudiced, and military strategists may imagine what the consequences of their actions might be. Speculations may lead to the generation of putative explanations called hypotheses. But it is by checking if hypotheses accurately reflect the encountered facts that lead to sensible behaviour demonstrating a (...)
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