Reasoning in teaching and misleading situations


Much of human inference occurs in social situations. While in many cases, people cooperate, as in teaching settings, people can misdirect others in order to protect their own interests. \citeA{shaftoEtAl08} formalized teaching and learning from teachers as Bayesian inference, in which learners use knowledge about the teacher's intent to facilitate inference. This same model provides a basis for exploring reasoning about misleading. We present two new experiments comparing reasoning about teaching and misleading. In both experiments, participants play the role of informant (teacher/misleader) or learner. Our model predicts and our results show that people's behavior differs in teaching and misleading conditions, both when intentions are explicitly known as well as when they are not. Further, the model provides close fits to informants' and learners' behavior.

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