Updating beliefs in light of uncertain evidence: Descriptive assessment of Jeffrey's rule

Thinking and Reasoning 16 (4):288-307 (2010)
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Jeffrey (1983) proposed a generalization of conditioning as a means of updating probability distributions when new evidence drives no event to certainty. His rule requires the stability of certain conditional probabilities through time. We tested this assumption (“invariance”) from the psychological point of view. In Experiment 1 participants offered probability estimates for events in Jeffrey’s candlelight example. Two further scenarios were investigated in Experiment 2, one in which invariance seems justified, the other in which it does not. Results were in rough conformity to Jeffrey (1983)’s principle.



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