SOPhiA 2022

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Probability, confirmation, and the base-rate fallacy
(Philosophy of Science, English)

Base-rate neglect is the tendency to ignore (or at least underweight) base rates when updating one's credence in a certain hypothesis in light of new evidence. It has been observed experimentally in a variety of domains, ranging from social psychology to medicine, since the 1970s. However, despite extensive discussion, neither the normative question: "Is the neglect of base rates a real fallacy?", nor the descriptive question: "Why are base rates (mistakenly) neglected?" have been settled. In this paper, we will focus on the latter. In particular, in section 1, we will present in some detail two possible determinants of this phenomenon: representativeness, as suggested by Kahneman & Tversky (1973), and linear integration, as suggested by Juslin, Nilsson, & Winman (2009). We will also put forward an alternative proposal, according to which humans' appreciation of confirmation relations would account for the base-rate fallacy, much as it can for the conjunction fallacy, as shown by Crupi, Fitelson, & Tentori (2008) and Tentori, Crupi, & Russo (2013). Moreover, in section 2, we will

test this explanatory hypothesis against data recently collected by Pighin & Tentori (2021) and we will discuss the results of this analysis as well as its strenghts and limitations, pointing to open issues for future research. As argued in section 3, our results provide support to a confirmation-theoretic view of reasoning under uncertainty, including well-known tendencies to biased judgment of probability.

Chair: Ina Jängten
Time: 10:00-10:30, 08 September 2022 (Thursday)
Location: SR 1.004
Remark: (Online Talk)

Martina Calderisi 
(University of Turin (FINO Consortium), Italy)

Testability and Meaning deco