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Simon Cullen
Carnegie Mellon University
  1. When Do Circumstances Excuse? Moral Prejudices and Beliefs About the True Self Drive Preferences for Agency-Minimizing Explanations.Simon Cullen - 2018 - Cognition 180:165-181.
    When explaining human actions, people usually focus on a small subset of potential causes. What leads us to prefer certain explanations for valenced actions over others? The present studies indicate that our moral attitudes often predict our explanatory preferences far better than our beliefs about how causally sensitive actions are to features of the actor's environment. Study 1 found that high-prejudice participants were much more likely to endorse non-agential explanations of an erotic same-sex encounter, such as that one of the (...)
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  2. Survey-Driven Romanticism.Simon Cullen - 2010 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2):275-296.
    Despite well-established results in survey methodology, many experimental philosophers have not asked whether and in what way conclusions about folk intuitions follow from people’s responses to their surveys. Rather, they appear to have proceeded on the assumption that intuitions can be simply read off from survey responses. Survey research, however, is fraught with difficulties. I review some of the relevant literature—particularly focusing on the conversational pragmatic aspects of survey research—and consider its application to common experimental philosophy surveys. I argue for (...)
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    Short Report on Initial Political Polarization/Argument Visualization Study.Simon Cullen & Vidushi Sharma - manuscript
    This document provides a brief report on initial research into how argument presentation (visual map vs. regular prose) affects people's susceptibility to confirmation bias as well as their feelings toward political opponents. Using highly polarizing stimuli, we found that argument visualization substantially reduced confirmation bias and, for participants with low CRT scores, the belief that one's political opponents are morally evil.
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