Distinguishing literal from metaphorical applications of Bayesian approaches

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (4):211-212 (2011)
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We distinguish between literal and metaphorical applications of Bayesian models. When intended literally, an isomorphism exists between the elements of representation assumed by the rational analysis and the mechanism that implements the computation. Thus, observation of the implementation can externally validate assumptions underlying the rational analysis. In other applications, no such isomorphism exists, so it is not clear how the assumptions that allow a Bayesian model to fit data can be independently validated



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