Inflated inflation and superseded supersession: testing counterfactual sampling accounts of causal strength judgments
- Maureen Gill, Princeton University , Princeton, New Jersey, United States
- Jonathan Kominsky, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
- Joshua Knobe, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
- Thomas Icard, Philosophy, Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States
AbstractNorm violations have been shown to influence causal judgments. Icard, Kominsky, and Knobe (2017) explained the influence of norms by appeal to a model of norm-weighted sampling of counterfactual possibilities. This model explains two well-known effects (among others): When two agents must act to bring about an outcome (i.e. both actions are necessary), if an agent S violates a norm, they are judged more causal than when they do not violate a norm (“abnormal inflation”), and the other agent B is judged to be less causal than when S does not violate a norm (“causal supersession”). In the present study (N = 1008), we find empirical support for two untested further predictions of this sampling model of causal strength judgments: Abnormal inflation of S is greater when B violates a norm (“inflation increase”), and causal supersession of B is smaller when S violates a norm (“supersession decrease”).
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