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    We might be wrong, but we think that hedging doesn't protect your reputation.

    Collins, P.J. and Hahn, Ulrike (2020) We might be wrong, but we think that hedging doesn't protect your reputation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 46 (7), pp. 1328-1348. ISSN 0278-7393.

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    We gain much of our knowledge from other people. Since people are fallible - they lie, mislead, and are mistaken - it seems essential to monitor their claims and their reliability as sources of information. An intuitive way to do this is to draw on our expectations about claims and sources: to perform expectation-based updating (Hahn, Merdes, & von Sydow, 2018). But this updating can have damaging consequences, leading us into a kind of confirmation bias. An alternative is to keep track of outcomes and record whether a claim proves true or false: to perform outcome-based updating (Hahn et al., 2018). This form of updating does not have the negative repercussions on belief accuracy. But both forms of updating might undermine the trust and cooperation assumed to be necessary for successful communication. We explore a potential boundary condition on these types of updating. We investigate whether speakers can protect their reputation when they make claims with low prior probability, with and without knowledge of the final outcome. We explore suggestions from McCready (2015) that speakers can protect themselves by hedging with evidential language: in particular with weaker propositional attitudes ('I suspect that...') and so-called double hedges ('I might be wrong, but I think...'). We find that both forms of updating are robust to hedging with this evidential language, and find no clear evidence for a protective effect. We discuss extra ingredients that may allow successful hedging.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: ©American Psychological Association 2019. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at the DOI cited above.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Cognition, Computation and Modelling, Centre for
    Depositing User: Ulrike Hahn
    Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2020 14:00
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:56


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