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    The impact of partial source dependence on belief and reliability revision

    Madsen, J.K. and Hahn, Ulrike and Pilditch, T.D. (2020) The impact of partial source dependence on belief and reliability revision. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 46 (9), pp. 1795-1805. ISSN 0278-7393.

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    In this paper, we explore how people revise their belief in a hypothesis and the reliability of sources in circumstances where those sources are either independent or are partially dependent because of their shared, common, background. Specifically, we examine people’s revision of perceived source reliability by comparison with a formal model of reliability revision proposed by Bovens and Hartmann (2003). This model predicts a u-shaped trajectory for revision in certain circumstances: If a source provides a positive report for an unlikely hypothesis, perceived source reliability should decrease; as additional positive reports emerge, however, estimates of reliability should increase. Participants’ updates in our experiment show this u-shaped pattern. Furthermore, participants’ responses also respect a second feature of the model, namely that perceived reliability should once again decrease when it becomes known that the sources are partially dependent. Participants revise appropriately both when a specific shared reliability is observed (e.g. sources went to the same, low quality school) and when integrating the possibility of shared reliability. These findings shed light on how people gauge source reliability and integrate reports when multiple sources weigh in on an issue as seen in public debates.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: ©American Psychological Association 2020. 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: 17 Apr 2020 10:57
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:59


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