Review of Philosophy and Psychology

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 863–903 | Cite as

Subjective Probability as Sampling Propensity



Subjective probability plays an increasingly important role in many fields concerned with human cognition and behavior. Yet there have been significant criticisms of the idea that probabilities could actually be represented in the mind. This paper presents and elaborates a view of subjective probability as a kind of sampling propensity associated with internally represented generative models. The resulting view answers to some of the most well known criticisms of subjective probability, and is also supported by empirical work in neuroscience and behavioral psychology. The repercussions of the view for how we conceive of many ordinary instances of subjective probability, and how it relates to more traditional conceptions of subjective probability, are discussed in some detail.


Decision Rule Subjective Probability Markov Random Field Probability Match Binocular Rivalry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Thanks to the RoPP editor Paul Egré, to the journal reviewers, and to Falk Lieder for useful comments that helped improve the paper. Thanks also to Wesley Holliday, Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, and my dissertation committee (see Icard 2013) for helpful comments on an earlier version.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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