Document Detail

Competition between multiple causes of a single outcome in causal reasoning.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19159158     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A strong positive predictor of an outcome modulates the causal judgments of a moderate predictor. To study the empirical basis of this modulation, we compared treatments with one and with two strong competing (i.e., modulating) causes. This allowed us to vary the frequency of outcome occurrences or effects paired with the predictors. We investigated causal competition between positive predictors (those signaling the occurrence of the outcome), between negative predictors (those signaling the absence of the outcome) and between predictors of opposite polarity (positive and negative). The results are consistent with a contrast rather than a reduced associative strength or conditional contingency account, because a strong predictor of opposite polarity enhances rather than reduces causal estimates of moderate predictors. In addition, we found competition effects when the strong predictor predicted fewer outcome occurrences than the moderate predictor, thus implying that cue competition is, at least sometimes, a consequence of contingency rather than total cue-outcome pairings.
Christine Darredeau; Irina Baetu; Andrew G Baker; Robin A Murphy
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of experimental psychology. Animal behavior processes     Volume:  35     ISSN:  0097-7403     ISO Abbreviation:  J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process     Publication Date:  2009 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-01-22     Completed Date:  2009-04-21     Revised Date:  2009-05-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7504289     Medline TA:  J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1-14     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2009 APA, all rights reserved.
McGill University, Penfield, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Competitive Behavior*
Decision Making*
Erratum In:
J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process. 2009 Apr;35(2):278

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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