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So I don't see how it is any less of a reverse-fitting of (arguably more math-oriented) description to prior data. The

Furthermore, the endowment effect is not even certain to exist, if wikipedia is correct (There are some failed replications, no meta-analysis that I can find.) There are a lot of other (possible) theoretical explanations given for it there as well. In fact there is more theory than there are experiments. Also, being much closer to economics, it's generally more likely to have mathematical models for it.

So I don't see how it is any less of a reverse-fitting of (arguably more math-oriented) description to prior data. The endowment effect is not even certain to exist, if wikipedia is correct. There are a lot of other (possible) theoretical explanations given for it there as well. Also, being much closer to economics, it's generally more likely to have mathematical models for it.

So I don't see how it is any less of a reverse-fitting of (arguably more math-oriented) description to prior data.

Furthermore, the endowment effect is not even certain to exist, if wikipedia is correct (There are some failed replications, no meta-analysis that I can find.) There are a lot of other (possible) theoretical explanations given for it there as well. In fact there is more theory than there are experiments. Also, being much closer to economics, it's generally more likely to have mathematical models for it.

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And regarding prospect theory; quoting from Wikipedia page on it:

Critics from the field of psychology argued that even if Prospect Theory arose as a descriptive model, it offers no psychological explanations for the processes stated in it.

So I don't see how it is any less of a reverse-fitting of (arguably more math-oriented) description to prior data. The endowment effect is not even certain to exist, if wikipedia is correct. There are a lot of other (possible) theoretical explanations given for it there as well. Also, being much closer to economics, it's generally more likely to have mathematical models for it.


And regarding prospect theory; quoting from Wikipedia page on it:

Critics from the field of psychology argued that even if Prospect Theory arose as a descriptive model, it offers no psychological explanations for the processes stated in it.

So I don't see how it is any less of a reverse-fitting of (arguably more math-oriented) description to prior data. The endowment effect is not even certain to exist, if wikipedia is correct. There are a lot of other (possible) theoretical explanations given for it there as well. Also, being much closer to economics, it's generally more likely to have mathematical models for it.

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By request, here's the introductory / "theoretical" part of the paper:

[Dual-process] theories posit two distinct processes of reasoning that compete for control of the response that participants make in reasoning tasks. Heuristic or System1 processes are characterised as rapid, implicit, associative, and heavily contextualised, whereas analytic or System2 processes are described as slow and sequential but capable of abstraction and generalisation. Note that a key difference is the speed of processing. The reason for this is that analytic processing is a sequential process requiring use of central working memory and is constrained by its limited capacity. By contrast, heuristic processes operate through massively parallel implicit systems that exert an unconscious influence on responding. In support of this distinction is evidence of substantial correlations between general intelligence and working memory capacity with abstract deductive reasoning but not pragmatic, belief-based reasoning (Stanovich, 2004).

While a mass of evidence has been recorded supporting the idea that there are two different processes of reasoning, more research is needed to confirm the characteristics that theorists have attributed to the cognitive systems that may underlie these observations. A relevant methodological innovation reported by Roberts and Newton (2002) is the rapid-response reasoning task. The idea is that by constraining participants to respond within a short period of time, the slower analytic process of reasoning will be differentially inhibited. For example, on the Wason selection task, there is a well established non-logical tendency, known as ‘‘matching bias’’ (Evans, 1998), to select cards that match the explicit content of conditional statements, regardless of the presence of negations. Roberts and Newton (2002) showed that measures of matching bias were significantly increased when a rapid response version of the selection task was compared with a free-time version. This is as dual-process theory would predict, since any influence of analytic reasoning to inhibit the bias would be suppressed by the requirement to respond quickly.

A central phenomenon in dual-process accounts of reasoning is that of ‘‘belief bias’’—the tendency to evaluate the validity of an argument on the basis of whether or not one agrees with the conclusion, rather than on whether or not it follows logically from the premises. The phenomenon is one of the earliest reported in the psychology of reasoning (Wilkins, 1928) but the modern study of the effect dates from the paper of Evans, Barston, and Pollard (1983), which established the phenomenon with all relevant experimental controls. Evans et al. showed that participants’ evaluations of conclusions were substantially affected both by the logical validity of the arguments and by the believability of the conclusions. With the help of protocol analyses Evans et al. characterised the effect as involving a within-participant conflict between logic-based (analytic) processes and belief-based (heuristic) processes. Such a conflict is to be expected in view of contemporary dual-process theories. In support of this, it has been shown that participants high in general intelligence are more able to resist belief biases (Stanovich & West, 1997) and that logical and belief-based responding are neurologically differentiated (Goel & Dolan, 2003).

In this study, we extend the rapid-response methodology of Roberts and Newton (2002) to the study of belief bias in syllogistic reasoning. Using a conclusion-evaluation paradigm with problems similar to those of Evans et al. (1983), we compare performance under rapid-response and free-time tasks. We predict that the participants required to respond rapidly will show (a) an increased level of belief bias and (b) a reduced level of logical responding.


By request, here's the introductory / "theoretical" part of the paper:

[Dual-process] theories posit two distinct processes of reasoning that compete for control of the response that participants make in reasoning tasks. Heuristic or System1 processes are characterised as rapid, implicit, associative, and heavily contextualised, whereas analytic or System2 processes are described as slow and sequential but capable of abstraction and generalisation. Note that a key difference is the speed of processing. The reason for this is that analytic processing is a sequential process requiring use of central working memory and is constrained by its limited capacity. By contrast, heuristic processes operate through massively parallel implicit systems that exert an unconscious influence on responding. In support of this distinction is evidence of substantial correlations between general intelligence and working memory capacity with abstract deductive reasoning but not pragmatic, belief-based reasoning (Stanovich, 2004).

While a mass of evidence has been recorded supporting the idea that there are two different processes of reasoning, more research is needed to confirm the characteristics that theorists have attributed to the cognitive systems that may underlie these observations. A relevant methodological innovation reported by Roberts and Newton (2002) is the rapid-response reasoning task. The idea is that by constraining participants to respond within a short period of time, the slower analytic process of reasoning will be differentially inhibited. For example, on the Wason selection task, there is a well established non-logical tendency, known as ‘‘matching bias’’ (Evans, 1998), to select cards that match the explicit content of conditional statements, regardless of the presence of negations. Roberts and Newton (2002) showed that measures of matching bias were significantly increased when a rapid response version of the selection task was compared with a free-time version. This is as dual-process theory would predict, since any influence of analytic reasoning to inhibit the bias would be suppressed by the requirement to respond quickly.

A central phenomenon in dual-process accounts of reasoning is that of ‘‘belief bias’’—the tendency to evaluate the validity of an argument on the basis of whether or not one agrees with the conclusion, rather than on whether or not it follows logically from the premises. The phenomenon is one of the earliest reported in the psychology of reasoning (Wilkins, 1928) but the modern study of the effect dates from the paper of Evans, Barston, and Pollard (1983), which established the phenomenon with all relevant experimental controls. Evans et al. showed that participants’ evaluations of conclusions were substantially affected both by the logical validity of the arguments and by the believability of the conclusions. With the help of protocol analyses Evans et al. characterised the effect as involving a within-participant conflict between logic-based (analytic) processes and belief-based (heuristic) processes. Such a conflict is to be expected in view of contemporary dual-process theories. In support of this, it has been shown that participants high in general intelligence are more able to resist belief biases (Stanovich & West, 1997) and that logical and belief-based responding are neurologically differentiated (Goel & Dolan, 2003).

In this study, we extend the rapid-response methodology of Roberts and Newton (2002) to the study of belief bias in syllogistic reasoning. Using a conclusion-evaluation paradigm with problems similar to those of Evans et al. (1983), we compare performance under rapid-response and free-time tasks. We predict that the participants required to respond rapidly will show (a) an increased level of belief bias and (b) a reduced level of logical responding.

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