Abductive, Causal, and Counterfactual Conditionals Under Incomplete Probabilistic Knowledge

Abstract

We study abductive, causal, and non-causal conditionals in indicative and counterfactual formulations using probabilistic truth table tasks under incomplete probabilistic knowledge (N=80). We frame the task as a probability-logical inference problem. The most frequently observed response type across all conditions was a class of conditional event interpretations of conditionals; it was followed by conjunction interpretations. An interesting minority of participants neglected some of the relevant imprecision involved in the premises when inferring lower or upper probability bounds on the target conditional/counterfactual (“halfway responses”). We discuss the results in the light of coherence-based probability logic and the new paradigm psychology of reasoning.


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