Do Markov Violations and Failures of Explaining Away Persist with Experience?


Making judgments by relying on beliefs about causal relations is a fundamental aspect of everyday cognition. Recent research has identified two ways that human reasoning seems to diverge from optimal standards; people appear to violate the Markov Assumption, and do not to “explain away” adequately. However, these habits have rarely been tested in the situation that presumably would promote accurate reasoning – after experiencing the multivariate distribution of the variables through trial-by-trial learning, even though this is a standard paradigm. Two studies test whether these habits persist 1) despite adequate learning experience, 2) despite incentives, and 3) whether they also extend to situations with continuous variables.

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