Ulf-Dietrich Reips and Michael R Waldmann (2008)

When learning order affects sensitivity to base rates: Challenges for theories of causal learning

Experimental Psychology, 55(1):9-22.

In three experiments we investigated whether two procedures of acquiring knowledge about the same causal structure, predictive learning (from causes to effects) versus diagnostic learning (from effects to causes), would lead to different base-rate use in diagnostic judgments. Results showed that learners are capable of incorporating base-rate information in their judgments regardless of the direction in which the causal structure is learned. However, this only holds true for relatively simple scenarios. When complexity was increased, base rates were only used after diagnostic learning, but were largely neglected after predictive learning. It could be shown that this asymmetry is not due to a failure of encoding base rates in predictive learning because participants in all conditions were fairly good at reporting them. The findings present challenges for all theories of causal learning. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Accession Number: 2007-15046-003. PMID: 18271349 Other Journal Title: Zeitschrift für Experimentelle Psychologie; Zeitschrift für Experimentelle und Angewandte Psychologie. Partial author list: First Author & Affiliation: Reips, Ulf-Dietrich; Department of Psychology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. Other Publishers: Hogrefe Publishing. Release Date: 20071022. Correction Date: 20100614. Publication Type: Journal (0100), Peer Reviewed Journal (0110). Format Covered: Electronic. Document Type: Journal Article. Language: English. Major Descriptor: Associative Processes; Causality; Learning; Psychological Theories. Minor Descriptor: Judgment; Prediction; Serial Position Effect. Classification: Learning & Memory (2343). Population: Human (10). Location: Germany. Age Group: Adulthood (18 yrs & older) (300). Methodology: Empirical Study; Quantitative Study. References Available: Y. Page Count: 14. Issue Publication Date: 2008. Publication History: Accepted Date: Oct 10, 2006; Revised Date: Oct 4, 2006; First Submitted Date: Mar 6, 2006. Copyright Statement: Hogrefe & Huber Publishers. 2008.