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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter first explains what intuitive theories are, how they can be modeled as probabilistic, generative programs, and how intuitive theories support various cognitive functions such as prediction, counterfactual reasoning, and explanation. It focuses on two domains of knowledge: people’s intuitive understanding of physics, and their intuitive understanding of psychology. It shows how causal judgments can be modeled as counterfactual contrasts operating over an intuitive theory of physics, and how explanations of an agent’s behavior are grounded in a rational planning model that is inverted to infer the agent’s beliefs, desires, and abilities. It concludes by highlighting some of the challenges that the intuitive theories framework faces, such as understanding how intuitive theories are learned and developed.

Keywords: intuitive theories, prediction, intuitive physics, intuitive, psychology, counterfactual

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