Harry Potter and the sorcerer's scope: latent scope biases in explanatory reasoning.

@article{Khemlani2011HarryPA,
  title={Harry Potter and the sorcerer's scope: latent scope biases in explanatory reasoning.},
  author={Sangeet S. Khemlani and Abigail B. Sussman and Daniel M. Oppenheimer},
  journal={Memory & cognition},
  year={2011},
  volume={39 3},
  pages={527-35}
}
What makes a good explanation? We examine the function of latent scope, i.e., the number of unobserved phenomena that an explanation can account for. We show that individuals prefer narrow latent scope explanations-those that account for fewer unobserved effects-to broader explanations. In Experiments 1a-d, participants found narrow latent scope explanations to be both more satisfying and more likely. In Experiment 2 we directly manipulated base rate information and again found a preference for… CONTINUE READING