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Error Rates and Uncertainty Reduction in Rule Discovery

Abstract

Three new versions of Wason’s 2-4-6 rule discovery task incorporating error rates or feedback of uncertainty reduction, inspired by the error-statistical account in philosophy of science, were employed. In experiments 1 and 2, participants were instructed that some experimenter feedback would be erroneous (control was original 2-4-6 without error). The results showed that performance was impaired when there was probabilistic error. In experiment 3, participants were given uncertainty reduction feedback as they generated different number triples and the negative effects of probabilistic error were not observed. These findings are informative not only about rule discovery tasks in general but also about contexts of inference under uncertainty.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Rabianur Balci for assistance in the coding and analysis of part of the data.

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Correspondence to M. Emrah Aktunc.

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Aktunc, M., Hazar, C. & Baytimur, E. Error Rates and Uncertainty Reduction in Rule Discovery. Rev.Phil.Psych. 12, 435–452 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13164-020-00494-6

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