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Title: Structural mapping in statistical word problems: A relational reasoning approach to Bayesian inference
Author: Johnson, Eric D.
Tubau Sala, Elisabet
Keywords: Estadística bayesiana
Raonament (Psicologia)
Bayesian statistical decision
Reasoning (Psychology)
Issue Date: 27-Sep-2016
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Abstract: Presenting natural frequencies facilitates Bayesian inferences relative to using percentages. Nevertheless, many people, including highly educated and skilled reasoners, still fail to provide Bayesian responses to these computationally simple problems. We show that the complexity of relational reasoning (e.g., the structural mapping between the presented and requested relations) can help explain the remaining difficulties. With a non-Bayesian inference that required identical arithmetic but afforded a more direct structural mapping, performance was universally high. Furthermore, reducing the relational demands of the task through questions that directed reasoners to use the presented statistics, as compared with questions that prompted the representation of a second, similar sample, also significantly improved reasoning. Distinct error patterns were also observed between these presented- and similar-sample scenarios, which suggested differences in relational-reasoning strategies. On the other hand, while higher numeracy was associated with better Bayesian reasoning, higher-numerate reasoners were not immune to the relational complexity of the task. Together, these findings validate the relational-reasoning view of Bayesian problem solving and highlight the importance of considering not only the presented task structure, but also the complexity of the structural alignment between the presented and requested relations.
Note: Versió postprint del document publicat a:
It is part of: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 2016, p. 1-8
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ISSN: 1069-9384
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Cognició, Desenvolupament i Psicologia de l'Educació)

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