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    'Damned by faint praise': a Bayesian account

    Harris, A.J.L. and Corner, A.J. and Hahn, Ulrike (2009) 'Damned by faint praise': a Bayesian account. In: Taatgen, N. and van Rijn, H. (eds.) Proceedings of the 31st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, Texas, USA: Cognitive Science Society, pp. 292-297. ISBN 9780976831853.

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    “Damned by Faint Praise” is the phenomenon whereby weak positive information leads to a negative change in belief. However, in a Bayesian model of belief revision positive information can seemingly only exert a positive change in belief. We introduce a version of Bayes’ Theorem incorporating the concept of epistemic closure. This reformalization is able to predict the conditions under which a ‘damned by faint praise’ effect is observed. Moreover, good, parameter-free fits are observed between the Bayesian model and the experimental data. This provides further support for the Bayesian approach to informal argumentation (e.g., Hahn & Oaksford, 2007).


    Item Type: Book Section
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): argument from ignorance, Bayesian probability, epistemic closure, evidence
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Birkbeck Knowledge Lab
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2015 14:34
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:17


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