Predicting Behavior from the World: Naïve Behaviorism in Lay Decision Theory

Samuel G.B. Johnson, Lance J. Rips

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Life in our social world depends on predicting and interpreting other people's behavior. Do such inferences always require us to explicitly represent people's mental states, or do we sometimes bypass such mentalistic inferences and rely instead on cues from the environment? We provide evidence for such behaviorist thinking by testing judgments about agents' decision-making under uncertainty, comparing agents who were knowledgeable about the quality of each decision option to agents who were ignorant. Participants believed that even ignorant agents were most likely to choose optimally, both in explaining (Experiment 1) and in predicting behavior (Experiment 2), and assigned them greater responsibility when acting in an objectively optimal way (Experiment 3).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2014
PublisherThe Cognitive Science Society
Pages695-700
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780991196708
StatePublished - 2014
Event36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2014 - Quebec City, Canada
Duration: Jul 23 2014Jul 26 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2014

Conference

Conference36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2014
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityQuebec City
Period7/23/147/26/14

Keywords

  • explanation
  • lay decision theory
  • prediction
  • rationality
  • Theory of mind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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