Cognitive processes underlying spatial belief revision


New information sometimes contradicts what is believed about certain states of the world. To integrate contradicting information, reasoners have to revise existing beliefs. In the course of belief revision they need to decide which beliefs to retain and which ones to retract in order to regain consistency within current belief states. What guides belief revision has been studied in the non-spatial domain. Based upon previous work on spatial reasoning, we develop hypotheses about the cognitive processes of belief revision in spatial reasoning. Spatial beliefs are considered to be based on spatial mental models that are subject to variation during revision. We provide empirical evidence that models are varied according to information provided by inconsistent statements rather than processes vital for construction of initial models. Furthermore we show that revising spatial models follows dissociable principles from constructing initial spatial models.

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