Raising argument strength using negative evidence: A constraint on models of induction

Heussen, D., Voorspoels, W., Verheyen, S., Storms, G. & Hampton, J. A. (2011). Raising argument strength using negative evidence: A constraint on models of induction. Memory & Cognition, 39(8), pp. 1496-1507. doi: 10.3758/s13421-011-0111-2

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Abstract

Both intuitively, and according to similarity-based theories of induction, relevant evidence raises argument strength when it is positive and lowers it when it is negative. In three experiments, we tested the hypothesis that argument strength can actually increase when negative evidence is introduced. Two kinds of argument were compared through forced choice or sequential evaluation: single positive arguments (e.g., “Shostakovich’s music causes alpha waves in the brain; therefore, Bach’s music causes alpha waves in the brain”) and double mixed arguments (e.g., “Shostakovich’s music causes alpha waves in the brain, X’s music DOES NOT; therefore, Bach’s music causes alpha waves in the brain”). Negative evidence in the second premise lowered credence when it applied to an item X from the same subcategory (e.g., Haydn) and raised it when it applied to a different subcategory (e.g., AC/DC). The results constitute a new constraint on models of induction.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/934

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