Affordable Access

Access to the full text

Nonnormative discounting: There is more to cue interaction effects than controlling for alternative causes

Authors
  • Goedert, Kelly M.1
  • Spellman, Barbara A.2
  • 1 Pacific Lutheran University, Department of Psychology, Tacoma, WA, 98447 , Tacoma
  • 2 University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia , Charlottesville
Type
Published Article
Journal
Learning & Behavior
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
May 01, 2005
Volume
33
Issue
2
Pages
197–210
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3758/BF03196063
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Several experiments on human causal reasoning have demonstrated “discounting”-that the presence of a strong alternative cause may decrease the perceived efficacy of a moderate target cause. Some, but not all, of these effects have been shown to be attributable to subjects’ use of conditional rather than unconditional contingencies (i.e., subjects control for alternative causes). We review experimental results that do not conform to the conditionalizing contingency account of causal judgment. In four experiments, we demonstrate that there is “nonnormative discounting” above what is accounted for by conditionalization, that discounting may depend on the nature of the question put to the subjects, and that discounting can be affected by motivation. We conclude that because nonnormative discounting occurs for summary presentations as well as trial-by-trial presentations of information and because nonnormative discounting depends on motivation, it is not a necessary result of cue competition during the contingency learning process.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times