Towards an Empirical Test of Realism in Cognition

  • James M. YearsleyEmail author
  • Emmanuel M. Pothos
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8951)


We review recent progress in designing an empirical test of (temporal) realism in cognition. Realism in this context is the property that cognitive variables always have well defined (if possibly unknown) values at all times. We focus most of our attention in this contribution on discussing the exact notion of realism that is to be tested, as we feel this issue has not received enough attention to date. We also give a brief outline of the empirical test, including some comments on an experimental realisation, and we discuss what we should conclude from any purported experimental ‘disproof’ of realism. This contribution is based on Yearsley and Pothos (2014).



E.M.P. and J.M.Y. were supported by Leverhulme Trust grant no. RPG-2013-00. Further, E.M.P. was supported by Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), Air Force Material Command, USAF, grants no. FA 8655-13-1-3044. The US Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Governmental purpose notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCity University LondonLondonUK

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