The role of mechanism and covariation information in causal belief updating.


The present study is aimed at identifying how prior causal beliefs and covariation information contribute to belief updating when evidence, either compatible or contradictory with those beliefs, is provided. Participants were presented with a cover story with which it was intended to activate or generate a causal belief. Variables related to the prior belief (the type of information, the strength of the cause-effect causal link, and how confident the participant was that the link existed) were assessed. Subsequently, participants were presented with covariational information and were asked to update their beliefs in light of the new evidence. Information reliability, prior belief's causal influence magnitude, and the cause-effect level of contingency portrayed by the new information--but not the type of the prior belief--are shown to directly determine belief updating.

Cite this paper

@article{Perales2007TheRO, title={The role of mechanism and covariation information in causal belief updating.}, author={Jos{\'e} C{\'e}sar Perales and Andr{\'e}s Catena and Antonio Jos{\'e} Maldonado and Antonio P. Candido}, journal={Cognition}, year={2007}, volume={105 3}, pages={704-14} }