Combining Social Concepts: The Role of Causal Reasoning

Combining Social Concepts: The Role of Causal Reasoning Four studies examined how people combine social concepts that have conflicting implications (e.g., Harvard‐educated and carpenter). Several kinds of evidence indicated that such combinations are guided by causal reasoning that draws upon both causal relations contained within the constituent concepts and on broader world knowledge. Open‐ended descriptions of members of combinations contained explicit causal descriptors, as well as emergent attributes not used to describe members of constituents. Ratings of the likelihood that combination members possessed various attributes were not fully predicted by comparable ratings of constituents. Causal reasoning appeared to be most pervasive for combinations viewed as more surprising, suggesting that surprise may have triggered the generation of causal accounts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cognitive Science - A Multidisciplinary Journal Wiley

Combining Social Concepts: The Role of Causal Reasoning

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 1990 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
ISSN
0364-0213
eISSN
1551-6709
DOI
10.1207/s15516709cog1404_3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Four studies examined how people combine social concepts that have conflicting implications (e.g., Harvard‐educated and carpenter). Several kinds of evidence indicated that such combinations are guided by causal reasoning that draws upon both causal relations contained within the constituent concepts and on broader world knowledge. Open‐ended descriptions of members of combinations contained explicit causal descriptors, as well as emergent attributes not used to describe members of constituents. Ratings of the likelihood that combination members possessed various attributes were not fully predicted by comparable ratings of constituents. Causal reasoning appeared to be most pervasive for combinations viewed as more surprising, suggesting that surprise may have triggered the generation of causal accounts.

Journal

Cognitive Science - A Multidisciplinary JournalWiley

Published: Oct 1, 1990

References

  • Conceptual combination with prototype concepts
    Smith, Smith; Osherson, Osherson
  • Combining prototypes: A selective modification model
    Smith, Smith; Osherson, Osherson; Rips, Rips; Keane, Keane

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