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    Because Hitler did it! quantitative tests of Bayesian argumentation using ad hominem

    Harris, A.J.L. and Hsu, A.S. and Madsen, Jens K. (2012) Because Hitler did it! quantitative tests of Bayesian argumentation using ad hominem. Thinking and Reasoning 18 (3), pp. 311-343. ISSN 1354-6783.

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    Bayesian probability has recently been proposed as a normative theory of argumentation. In this article, we provide a Bayesian formalisation of the ad Hitlerum argument, as a special case of the ad hominem argument. Across three experiments, we demonstrate that people's evaluation of the argument is sensitive to probabilistic factors deemed relevant on a Bayesian formalisation. Moreover, we provide the first parameter-free quantitative evidence in favour of the Bayesian approach to argumentation. Quantitative Bayesian prescriptions were derived from participants' stated subjective probabilities (Experiments 1 and 2), as well as from frequency information explicitly provided in the experiment (Experiment 3). Participants' stated evaluations of the convincingness of the argument were well matched to these prescriptions.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): argumentation, reasoning, Bayesian probability, fallacies
    School: School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2015 10:26
    Last Modified: 08 Oct 2015 10:48


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