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Characterizing Causal Discounting: A Bias in Drawing Causal Inferences When Faced With Multiple Potential Causes

Dr. Kelly Goedert

Thursday, October 26, 2006, 12:00pm - 07:00pm

Seton Hall University, Department of Psychology

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When drawing causal inferences from contingency information, participants tend to devalue a moderately effective cause when it is learned about in the presence of a highly effective cause. Although some of this devaluing can be attributed to controlling for alternative causes, devaluing beyond that which can be accounted for by controlling for alternative causes occurs. �In Experiment 1, I will present a evidence that such devaluing (termed discounting) is cognitively dissociable from controlling for alternative causes. In Experiments 2 and 3, I present evidence consistent with the idea that discounting is a judgment bias that can be at least partially overridden.

Dr. Kelly Goedert