"Oops, I did it again." The impact of frequent behaviour on causal judgement.


Current causal theories aim to incorporate the effect of statistical and prescriptive norms on causal judgements, stating that norm-violating actions are judged as more causal than norm-conforming ones. In this paper, we present two experiments that undermine this claim, showing that people attribute increased causality to agents who conform to the norm of frequent behaviour. Furthermore, we find that the time point at which a moral norm is introduced does not make a difference to causal attributions, but that the frequency of a norm violation further accentuates its causal rating. Because these findings present a challenge to current norm theories of causation, we argue for an extended counterfactual model of causal attribution.

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