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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Our environment is rich in statistical information. Frequencies and proportions—or their visual depictions—are pervasive in the media, and frequently used to support or weaken causal statements, or to bias people’s beliefs in a given direction. The topic of this chapter is how people integrate naturally available frequencies and probabilities into judgments of the strength of the link between a candidate cause and an effect. We review studies investigating various rules that have been claimed to underlie intuitive causal judgments. Given that none of these rules has been established as a clear winner, we conclude presenting a tentative framework describing the general psychological processes operating when people select, ponder, and integrate pieces of causally-relevant evidence with the goal of meeting real-life demands.

Keywords: contingency matrix, rules, causal judgment, causal learning, intuitive beliefs

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