Advertisement

Testimony and Argument: A Bayesian Perspective

  • Ulrike Hahn
  • Mike Oaksford
  • Adam J. L. Harris
Chapter
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 362)

Abstract

Philosophers have become increasingly interested in testimony (e.g. Coady, Testimony: A philosophical study. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1992; Kusch & Lipton, Stud Hist Philos Sci 33:209–217). In the context of argumentation and persuasion, the distinction between the content of a message and its source is a natural and important one. The distinction has consequently attracted considerable attention within psychological research. There has also been a range of normative attempts to deal with the question of how source and message characteristics should combine to give rise to an overall evaluation of evidential strength (e.g. Walton, Witness testimony evidence: Argumentation, artificial intelligence, and law. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2008). This chapter treats this issue from the perspective of the Bayesian approach to argument (Hahn & Oaksford, Psychol Rev 114:704–732, 2007a; Hahn et al., Informal Log 29:337–367, 2009) and summarises empirical evidence on key intuitions.

Keywords

Argumentation Scheme Bayesian Belief Network Message Content Bayesian Perspective Message Source 
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.

References

  1. Achinstein, P. (1987). Concepts of evidence. Mind, 87, 22–45.Google Scholar
  2. Adams, E. W. (1998). A primer of probability logic. Stanford: CSLI.Google Scholar
  3. Adler, J. (2006). Epistemological problems of testimony. In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford: Stanford University.Google Scholar
  4. Birnbaum, M. H., & Mellers, B. (1983). Bayesian inference: Combining base rates with opinions of sources who vary in credibility. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45, 792–804.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Birnbaum, M. H., & Stegner, S. E. (1979). Source credibility in social judgment: Bias, expertise and the judge’s point of view. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 48–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Birnbaum, M. H., Wong, R., & Wong, L. K. (1976). Combining information from sources that vary in credibility. Memory & Cognition, 4, 330–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blamey, J. (this volume). Upping the stakes and the preface paradox. In F. Zenker (Ed.), Bayesian argumentation: The practical side of probability (pp. xx&xx). Dordrecht: SpringerGoogle Scholar
  8. Bovens, L., & Hartmann, S. (2003). Bayesian epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Bowell, T., & Kemp, G. (2002). Critical thinking: A concise guide. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Carlson, K., & Russo, J. (2001). Biased interpretation of evidence by mock jurors. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 7, 91–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chaiken, S. (1980). Heuristic versus systematic information processing and the use of source versus message cues in persuasion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 752–766.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Coady, C. A. J. (1992). Testimony: A philosophical study. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Cohen, L. J. (1982). What is necessary for testimonial corroboration? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 33, 161–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Copi, I. M., & Cohen, C. (1994). Introduction to logic (9th ed.). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  15. Corner, A., & Hahn, U. (2009). Evaluating science arguments: Evidence, uncertainty & argument strength. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 15, 199–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Corner, A. J., Hahn, U., & Oaksford, M. (2011). The psychological mechanism of the slippery slope argument. Journal of Memory and Language, 64, 153–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eagly, A. H., & Chaiken, S. (1993). The psychology of attitudes. Belmont: Thompson/Wadsworth.Google Scholar
  18. Eaton, T. E., & O’Callaghan, M. G. (2001). Child-witness and defendant credibility: child evidence presentation mode and judicial instructions. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 31, 1845–1858.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. ForsterLee, L., Horowitz, I. A., Athaide-Victor, E., & Brown, N. (2000). The bottom line: the effect of written expert witness statements on juror verdicts and information processing. Law and Human Behavior, 24, 259–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Friedman, R. (1987). Route analysis of credibility and hearsay. Yale Law Journal, 96, 667–742.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Goldman, A. I. (1999). Knowledge in a social world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Grabmair, M., & Ashley, K. D. (this volume). A survey of uncertainties and their consequences in probabilistic legal argumentation. In F. Zenker (Ed.), Bayesian argumentation: The practical side of probability (pp. xx–xx). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  23. Graham, P. J. (1997). What is testimony? Philosophical Quarterly, 47, 227–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hahn, U., & Oaksford, M. (2006a). A Bayesian approach to informal argument fallacies. Synthese, 152, 207–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hahn, U., & Oaksford, M. (2006b). Why a normative theory of argument strength and why might one want it to be Bayesian? Informal Logic, 26, 1–24.Google Scholar
  26. Hahn, U., & Oaksford, M. (2007a). The rationality of informal argumentation: A Bayesian approach to reasoning fallacies. Psychological Review, 114, 704–732.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hahn, U., & Oaksford, M. (2007b). The burden of proof and its role in argumentation. Argumentation, 21, 39–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hahn, U., Harris, A. J. L., & Corner, A. J. (2009). Argument content and argument source: An exploration. Informal Logic, 29, 337–367.Google Scholar
  29. Hahn, U. (2011). The problem of circularity in evidence, argument and explanation. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6, 172–182.Google Scholar
  30. Harris, P. L., & Corriveau, K. H. (2011). Young children’s selective trust in informants. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 366, 1179–1190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hughes, W., Lavery, J., & Doran, K. (2010). Critical thinking: An introduction to the basic skills (6th ed.). Peterborough: Broadview Press.Google Scholar
  32. Hume, D. (1977) An enquiry concerning human understanding (E. Steinberg, Ed.). Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  33. Jarvstad, A., & Hahn, U. (2011). Source reliability and the conjunction fallacy. Cognitive Science, 35, 682–711.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Johnson, R. H. (2000). Manifest rationality: A pragmatic theory of argument. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  35. Krauss, D. A., & Sales, B. D. (2001). The effects of clinical and scientific expert testimony on juror decision making in capital sentencing. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 7, 267–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kruglanski, A. W., & Stroebe, W. (2005). The influence of beliefs and goals on attitudes: Issues of structure, function, and dynamics. In D. Albarracín, B. T. Johnson, & M. P. Zanna (Eds.), The handbook of attitudes (pp. 323–369). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  37. Kusch, M., & Lipton, P. (2002). Testimony: A primer. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science, 33, 209–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kyburg, H. E., Jr. (1961). Probability and the logic of rational belief. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Lagnado, D. A., Fenton, N., & Neil, M. (2012). Legal idioms: A framework for evidential reasoning. Argument and Computation, 4, 1–18. Online first.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Loftus, E. F. (1975). Leading questions and the eyewitness report. Cognitive Psychology, 7, 560–572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Makinson, D. C. (1965). The paradox of the preface. Analysis, 25, 205–207.Google Scholar
  42. Oaksford, M., & Hahn, U. (2004). A Bayesian approach to the argument from ignorance. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 58, 75–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Oaksford, M., & Hahn, U. (this volume). Why are we convinced by the Ad Hominem argument?: Bayesian source reliability or pragma-dialectical discussion rules. In F. Zenker (Ed.), Bayesian argumentation: The practical side of probability (pp. xx–xx). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  44. Olsson, E. J. (this volume). A Bayesian simulation model of group deliberation. In F. Zenker (Ed.), Bayesian argumentation: The practical side of probability (pp. xx–xx). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  45. Pearl, J. (1988). Probabilistic reasoning in intelligent systems. San Mateo: Morgan Kaufman.Google Scholar
  46. Perelman, C., & Olbrechts-Tyteca, L. (1969). The new rhetoric: A treatise on argumentation. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.Google Scholar
  47. Petty, R. E., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1984). Source factors and the elaboration likelihood model of persuasion. Advances in Consumer Research, 11, 668–672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Petty, R. E., & Wegener, D. T. (1999). The elaboration likelihood model: Current status and controversies. In S. Chaiken & Y. Trope (Eds.), Dual process theories in social psychology (pp. 41–72). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  49. Petty, R. E., Cacioppo, J. T., & Goldman, R. (1981). Personal involvement as a determinant of argument-based persuasion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 41, 847–855.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pollock, J. L. (2001). Defeasible reasoning with variable degrees of justification. Artificial Intelligence, 133, 233–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Pollock, J. L. (1995). Cognitive carpentry. Cambridge, MA: Bradford/MIT Press.Google Scholar
  52. Pornpitakpan, C. (2004). The persuasiveness of source credibility: A critical review of five decades’ evidence. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34, 243–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Prakken, H., & Vreeswijk, G. A. W. (2002). Logics for defeasible argumentation. In D. M. Gabbay & F. Guenthner (Eds.), Handbook of philosophical logic (2nd ed., Vol. 4, pp. 219–318). Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic.Google Scholar
  54. Rainbolt, G. W., & Dwyer, S. L. (2012). Critical thinking: The art of argument. Boston: Wadsworth.Google Scholar
  55. Ratneshwar, R., & Chaiken, S. (1991). Comprehension’s role in persuasion: The case of its moderating effect on the persuasive impact of source cues. Journal of Consumer Research, 18, 52–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Reimer, T., Mata, R., & Stoecklin, M. (2004). The use of heuristics in persuasion: Deriving cues on source expertise from argument quality. Current Research in Social Psychology, 10, 69.Google Scholar
  57. Rescher, N. (1976). Plausible reasoning. Assen: Van Gorcum.Google Scholar
  58. Rescher, N. (1977). Dialectics: A controversy-oriented approach to the theory of knowledge. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  59. Schuller, R. A., Terry, D., & McKimmie, B. (2001). The impact of an expert’s gender on jurors’ decisions. Law and Psychology Review, 25, 59–79.Google Scholar
  60. Schum, D. A. (1981). Sorting out the effects of witness sensitivity and response-criterion placement upon the inferential value of testimonial evidence. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 27, 153–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Schum, D. A. (1994). The evidential foundations of probabilistic reasoning. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  62. Shogenji, T. (2000). Self-dependent justification without circularity. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 51, 287–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Shogenji, T. (this volume). Reductio, coherence, and the myth of epistemic circularity. In F. Zenker (Ed.), Bayesian argumentation: The practical side of probability (pp. xx–xx). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  64. Skolnick, P., & Shaw, J. I. (2001). A comparison of eyewitness and physical evidence on Mock-Juror decision making. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 28, 614–630. doi:10.1177/009385480102800504.Google Scholar
  65. Thompson, V. A., Evans, J. S., & Handley, S. J. (2005). Persuading and dissuading by conditional argument. Journal of Memory and Language, 53, 238–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Tindale, C. W. (2007). Fallacies and argument appraisal. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Toulmin, S. (1958). The uses of argument. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  68. Tucker, A. (2005). Miracles, historical testimonies, and probabilities. History and Theory, 44, 373–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1983). Extensional versus intuitive reasoning: The conjunction fallacy in probability judgment. Psychological Review, 90, 293–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. van Eemeren, F. H., & Grootendorst, R. (2004). A systematic theory of argumentation. The pragma-dialectical approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  71. Verheij, B. (2003). Dialectical argumentation with argumentation schemes: An approach to legal logic. Artificial intelligence and Law, 11, 167–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Walton, D. N. (1992). Rules for plausible reasoning. Informal Logic, XIV, 33–51.Google Scholar
  73. Walton, D. N. (1996). Argument schemes for presumptive reasoning. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  74. Walton, D. (1997). Appeal to expert opinion. University Park: Pennsylvania State Press.Google Scholar
  75. Walton, D. N. (1998). Ad Hominem arguments. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press.Google Scholar
  76. Walton, D. M. (2001). Abductive, presumptive, and plausible arguments. Informal Logic, 21, 141–169.Google Scholar
  77. Walton, D. N. (2004). Relevance in argumentation. Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  78. Walton, D. N. (2008). Witness testimony evidence: argumentation, artificial intelligence, and law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  79. Walton, D., Reed, C., & Macagno, F. (2008). Argumentation schemes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Weinstock, M., & Flaton, R. (2004). Evidence coverage and argument skills: cognitive factors in a juror’s verdict choice. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 17, 191–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Wells, G. L., & Olsen, E. A. (2003). Eyewitness testimony. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 277–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Wheeler, G. (2007). A review of the lottery paradox. In W. Harper & G. Wheeler (Eds.), Probability and inference: Essays in honour of Henry E. Kyburg, Jr (pp. 1–31). London: King’s College Publications.Google Scholar
  83. Woods, J., Irvine, A., & Walton, D. (2004). Critical Thinking: Logic & The Fallacies. Toronto: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrike Hahn
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mike Oaksford
    • 2
  • Adam J. L. Harris
    • 3
  1. 1.School of PsychologyCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  2. 2.Department of Psychological Science, Birkbeck CollegeUniversity of LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain SciencesUniversity College LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations