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Reversing the Norm Effect on Causal Attributions

Schwenkler, John and Sytsma, Justin (2020) Reversing the Norm Effect on Causal Attributions. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Research in the psychology of causal thinking has frequently revealed effects of normative considerations on causal attributions, where participants tend to assign causality more strongly to agents who violate a norm in bringing about an outcome. Across several experiments, we show that it is possible to reverse this norm effect when the outcome in question is good rather than bad: in these cases, participants assign causality more strongly to a norm-conforming agent than to an agent who violates a norm. We argue that this supports an explanation of the norm effect according to which it is due to a tendency to interpret statements of the form “X caused Y” or “X is the cause of Y” as assigning responsibility to X for bringing Y about.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Schwenkler, John
Sytsma, Justin
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Depositing User: Justin Sytsma
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 03:42
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2020 03:42
Item ID: 18220
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Date: 1 October 2020
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18220

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