Why some surprises are more surprising than others: Surprise as a metacognitive sense of explanatory difficulty.

@article{Foster2015WhySS,
  title={Why some surprises are more surprising than others: Surprise as a metacognitive sense of explanatory difficulty.},
  author={Meadhbh Foster and Mark T. Keane},
  journal={Cognitive psychology},
  year={2015},
  volume={81},
  pages={74-116}
}
Early theories of surprise, including Darwin's, argued that it was predominantly a basic emotion. Recently, theories have taken a more cognitive view of surprise, casting it as a process of "making sense of surprising events". The current paper advances the view that the essence of this sense-making process is explanation; specifically, that people's perception of surprise is a metacognitive estimate of the cognitive work involved in explaining an abnormal event. So, some surprises are more… CONTINUE READING