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One of the major problems in categorization research is the lack of systematic ways of constraining feature weights. We propose one method of operationalizing feature centrality, a causal status hypothesis which states that a cause feature is judged to be more central than its effect feature in categorization. In Experiment 1, participants learned a novel(More)
The order in which people receive information has a substantial effect on subsequent judgment and inference. Our focus is on the order of covariation evidence in causal learning. The first experiment shows that the initial presentation of evidence suggesting a generative causal relationship (the joint presence or joint absence of cause and effect) leads to(More)
The theory-based model of categorization posits that concepts are represented as theories, not feature lists. Thus, it is interesting that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) established atheoretical guidelines for mental disorder diagnosis. Five experiments investigated how(More)
Traditional approaches to causal attribution propose that information about covariation of factors is used to identify causes of events. In contrast, we present a series of studies showing that people seek out and prefer information about causal mechanisms rather than information about covariation. Experiments 1, 2 and 3 asked subjects to indicate the kind(More)
The current study examined the causal status effect (weighing cause features more than effect features in categorization) in children. Adults (Study 1) and 7-9-year-old children (Study 2) learned descriptions of novel animals, in which one feature caused two other features. When asked to determine which transfer item was more likely to be an example of the(More)
Two experiments, incorporating both real-life (Experiment 1) and artificial (Experiment 2) stimuli, demonstrated that lay concepts of mental disorders can be reliably predicted from subjects' naive causal theories about those disorders. Symptoms that are deeper causes (X, where X causes Y, which causes Z) are more important in lay concepts than intermediate(More)
OBJECTIVE This article examined, using theories from cognitive science, the clinical utility of the Five-Factor Model (FFM) of Personality, an assessment and classification system under consideration for integration into the forthcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders. Specifically, the authors sought to test(More)
The current experiments examine mental health clinicians' beliefs about biological, psychological, and environmental bases of the DSM-IV-TR mental disorders and the consequences of those causal beliefs for judging treatment effectiveness. Study 1 found a large negative correlation between clinicians' beliefs about biological bases and(More)
Meehl (1973) has informally observed that clinicians will perceive a patient as being more normal if they can understand the patient's behaviors. In Experiment 1, undergraduate participants received descriptions of 10 people, each with three characteristics (e.g., frequently suffers from insomnia) taken from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental(More)