Michael Waldmann, Patricia Cheng, York Hagmayer and Aaron Blaisdell (2008)

Causal learning in rats and humans: A minimal rational model (PSYNDEXshort)

In: False, ed. Oxford University Press. Oxford University Press

The authors bring together human and animal studies, with a particular focus on causal learning. Whereas the traditional associative approach to learning views learning contingencies as basic, and the learning of causality (if it is considered at all) to be secondary, they take the goal of the agent to infer the 'causal powers' of aspects of the world. Contingencies are primarily of interest to the degree that they provide evidence for such causal relationships. The degree to which the same rational model may be applied to learning, from rat to human, puts a new complexion on the behaviourist's project of building general principles of learning across species.