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Ori Friedman
University of Waterloo
  1. The Folk Conception of Knowledge.Christina Starmans & Ori Friedman - 2012 - Cognition 124 (3):272-283.
    How do people decide which claims should be considered mere beliefs and which count as knowledge? Although little is known about how people attribute knowledge to others, philosophical debate about the nature of knowledge may provide a starting point. Traditionally, a belief that is both true and justified was thought to constitute knowledge. However, philosophers now agree that this account is inadequate, due largely to a class of counterexamples (termed ‘‘Gettier cases’’) in which a person’s justified belief is true, but (...)
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  2. Knowledge Before Belief.Jonathan Phillips, Wesley Buckwalter, Fiery Cushman, Ori Friedman, Alia Martin, John Turri, Laurie Santos & Joshua Knobe - forthcoming - Behavioral and Brain Sciences:1-37.
    Research on the capacity to understand others’ minds has tended to focus on representations of beliefs, which are widely taken to be among the most central and basic theory of mind representations. Representations of knowledge, by contrast, have received comparatively little attention and have often been understood as depending on prior representations of belief. After all, how could one represent someone as knowing something if one doesn't even represent them as believing it? Drawing on a wide range of methods across (...)
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  3. Knowledge Central: A Central Role for Knowledge Attributions in Social Evaluations.John Turri, Ori Friedman & Ashley Keefner - 2017 - Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 70 (3):504-515.
    Five experiments demonstrate the central role of knowledge attributions in social evaluations. In Experiments 1–3, we manipulated whether an agent believes, is certain of, or knows a true proposition and asked people to rate whether the agent should perform a variety of actions. We found that knowledge, more so than belief or certainty, leads people to judge that the agent should act. In Experiments 4–5, we investigated whether attributions of knowledge or certainty can explain an important finding on how people (...)
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  4.  31
    Expert or Esoteric? Philosophers Attribute Knowledge Differently Than All Other Academics.Christina Starmans & Ori Friedman - 2020 - Cognitive Science 44 (7).
    Academics across widely ranging disciplines all pursue knowledge, but they do so using vastly different methods. Do these academics therefore also have different ideas about when someone possesses knowledge? Recent experimental findings suggest that intuitions about when individuals have knowledge may vary across groups; in particular, the concept of knowledge espoused by the discipline of philosophy may not align with the concept held by laypeople. Across two studies, we investigate the concept of knowledge held by academics across seven disciplines (N (...)
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  5. Is Probabilistic Evidence a Source of Knowledge?Ori Friedman & John Turri - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (5):1062-1080.
    We report a series of experiments examining whether people ascribe knowledge for true beliefs based on probabilistic evidence. Participants were less likely to ascribe knowledge for beliefs based on probabilistic evidence than for beliefs based on perceptual evidence or testimony providing causal information. Denial of knowledge for beliefs based on probabilistic evidence did not arise because participants viewed such beliefs as unjustified, nor because such beliefs leave open the possibility of error. These findings rule out traditional philosophical accounts for why (...)
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  6. Winners and Losers in the Folk Epistemology of Lotteries.John Turri & Ori Friedman - forthcoming - In James Beebe (ed.), Advances in Experimental Epistemology. London, United Kingdom: pp. 45-69.
    We conducted five experiments that reveal some main contours of the folk epistemology of lotteries. The folk tend to think that you don't know that your lottery ticket lost, based on the long odds ("statistical cases"); by contrast, the folk tend to think that you do know that your lottery ticket lost, based on a news report ("testimonial cases"). We evaluate three previous explanations for why people deny knowledge in statistical cases: the justification account, the chance account, and the statistical (...)
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  7.  66
    The Conceptual Underpinnings of Pretense: Pretending is Not 'Behaving-as-If.'.Ori Friedman & Alan M. Leslie - 2007 - Cognition 105 (1):103-124.
    The ability to engage in and recognize pretend play begins around 18 months. A major challenge for theories of pretense is explaining how children are able to engage in pretense, and how they are able to recognize pretense in others. According to one major account, the metarepresentational theory, young children possess both production and recognition abilities because they possess the mental state concept, PRETEND. According to a more recent rival account, the Behavioral theory, young children are behaviorists about pretense, and (...)
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  8.  40
    Determining Who Owns What: Do Children Infer Ownership From First Possession?Ori Friedman & Karen R. Neary - 2008 - Cognition 107 (3):829-849.
    A basic problem of daily life is determining who owns what. One way that people may solve this problem is by relying on a ‘first possession’ heuristic, according to which the first person who possesses an object is its owner, even if others subsequently possess the object. We investigated preschoolers’ use of this heuristic in five experiments. In Experiments 1 and 2, 3- and 4-year-olds inferred that an object was owned by the character who possessed it first, even though another (...)
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  9.  78
    Taking ‘Know’ for an Answer: A Reply to Nagel, San Juan, and Mar.Christina Starmans & Ori Friedman - 2013 - Cognition 129 (3):662-665.
    Nagel, San Juan, and Mar report an experiment investigating lay attributions of knowledge, belief, and justification. They suggest that, in keeping with the expectations of philosophers, but contra recent empirical findings [Starmans, C. & Friedman, O. (2012). The folk conception of knowledge. Cognition, 124, 272–283], laypeople consistently deny knowledge in Gettier cases, regardless of whether the beliefs are based on ‘apparent’ or ‘authentic’ evidence. In this reply, we point out that Nagel et al. employed a questioning method that biased participants (...)
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  10. The Development of Territory-Based Inferences of Ownership.Brandon W. Goulding & Ori Friedman - 2018 - Cognition 177 (C):142-149.
    Legal systems often rule that people own objects in their territory. We propose that an early-developing ability to make territory-based inferences of ownership helps children address informational demands presented by ownership. Across 6 experiments (N = 504), we show that these inferences develop between ages 3 and 5 and stem from two aspects of the psychology of ownership. First, we find that a basic ability to infer that people own objects in their territory is already present at age 3 (Experiment (...)
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  11.  38
    For the Greater Goods? Ownership Rights and Utilitarian Moral Judgment.J. Charles Millar, John Turri & Ori Friedman - 2014 - Cognition 133 (1):79-84.
    People often judge it unacceptable to directly harm a person, even when this is necessary to produce an overall positive outcome, such as saving five other lives. We demonstrate that similar judgments arise when people consider damage to owned objects. In two experiments, participants considered dilemmas where saving five inanimate objects required destroying one. Participants judged this unacceptable when it required violating another’s ownership rights, but not otherwise. They also judged that sacrificing another’s object was less acceptable as a means (...)
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  12.  28
    Is Young Children’s Recognition of Pretense Metarepresentational or Merely Behavioral? Evidence From 2- and 3-Year-Olds’ Understanding of Pretend Sounds and Speech.Ori Friedman, Karen R. Neary, Corinna L. Burnstein & Alan M. Leslie - 2010 - Cognition 115 (2):314-319.
  13.  32
    Parallels in Preschoolers' and Adults' Judgments About Ownership Rights and Bodily Rights.Julia W. Van de Vondervoort & Ori Friedman - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (1):184-198.
    Understanding ownership rights is necessary for socially appropriate behavior. We provide evidence that preschoolers' and adults' judgments of ownership rights are related to their judgments of bodily rights. Four-year-olds and adults evaluated the acceptability of harmless actions targeting owned property and body parts. At both ages, evaluations did not vary for owned property or body parts. Instead, evaluations were influenced by two other manipulations—whether the target belonged to the agent or another person, and whether that other person approved of the (...)
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  14.  13
    Sunk Cost Bias and Withdrawal Aversion.Michał Białek, Ori Friedman, Jonathan A. Fugelsang, Ethan A. Meyers & Martin H. Turpin - 2019 - American Journal of Bioethics 19 (3):57-59.
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  15.  41
    A Developmental Shift in Processes Underlying Successful Belief‐Desire Reasoning.Ori Friedman & Alan M. Leslie - 2004 - Cognitive Science 28 (6):963-977.
    Young children’s failures in reasoning about beliefs and desires, and especially about false beliefs, have been much studied. However, there are few accounts of successful belief-desire reasoning in older children or adults. An exception to this is a model in which belief attribution is treated as a process wherein an inhibitory system selects the most likely content for the belief to be attributed from amongst several competing contents [Leslie, A. M., & Polizzi, P. (1998). Developmental Science, 1, 247–254]. We tested (...)
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  16.  58
    “Because It's Hers”: When Preschoolers Use Ownership in Their Explanations.Shaylene E. Nancekivell & Ori Friedman - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (3):827-843.
    Young children show competence in reasoning about how ownership affects object use. In the present experiments, we investigate how influential ownership is for young children by examining their explanations. In three experiments, we asked 3- to 5-year-olds to explain why it was acceptable or unacceptable for a person to use an object. In Experiments 1 and 2, older preschoolers referenced ownership more than alternative considerations when explaining why it was acceptable or unacceptable for a person to use an object, even (...)
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  17.  12
    Identical but Not Interchangeable: Preschoolers View Owned Objects as Non-Fungible.Stephanie McEwan, Madison L. Pesowski & Ori Friedman - 2016 - Cognition 146:16-21.
    Owned objects are typically viewed as non-fungible-they cannot be freely interchanged. We report three experiments (total N=312) demonstrating this intuition in preschool-aged children. In Experiment 1, children considered an agent who takes one of two identical objects and leaves the other for a peer. Children viewed this as acceptable when the agent took his own item, but not when he took his peer's item. In Experiment 2, children considered scenarios where one agent took property from another. Children said the victim (...)
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  18.  13
    Acquiring Ownership and the Attribution of Responsibility.Max Palamar, Doan T. Le & Ori Friedman - 2012 - Cognition 124 (2):201-208.
    How is ownership established over non-owned things? We suggest that people may view ownership as a kind of credit given to agents responsible for making possession of a non-owned object possible. On this view, judgments about the establishment of ownership depend on attributions of responsibility. We report three experiments showing that people’s judgments about the establishment of ownership are influenced by an agent’s intent and control in bringing about an outcome, factors that also affect attributions of responsibility. These findings demonstrate (...)
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  19.  4
    Attributing Ownership to Hold Others Accountable.Emily Elizabeth Stonehouse & Ori Friedman - 2022 - Cognition 225 (C):105106.
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  20. A Developmental Perspective on the Imperfective Paradox.Josep Call, Olga Kochukhova, Gustaf Gredebäck, Sorel Cahan, Yaniv Mor, Nina Kazanina, Colin Phillips, Ori Friedman, Alan M. Leslie & Susan A. Gelman - 2007 - Cognition 105 (1):65-102.
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  21.  34
    Non-Interpretative Metacognition for True Beliefs.Ori Friedman & Adam R. Petrashek - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (2):146-147.
    Mindreading often requires access to beliefs, so the mindreading system should be able to self-attribute beliefs, even without self-interpretation. This proposal is consistent with Carruthers' claim that mindreading and metacognition depend on the same cognitive system and the same information as one another; and it may be more consistent with this claim than is Carruthers' account of metacognition.
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  22.  7
    Future-Oriented Objects.Brandon W. Goulding & Ori Friedman - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42.
    Hoerl & McCormack suggest that saving tools does not require temporal reasoning. However, we identify a class of objects that are only possessed in anticipation of future needs. We propose that investigating these future-oriented objects may help identify temporal reasoning in populations where this ability is uncertain.
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  23.  6
    Spoiled for Choice: Identifying the Building Blocks of Folk-Economic Beliefs.Shaylene Nancekivell & Ori Friedman - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41.
    Boyer & Petersen suggest that folk-economic beliefs result from evolved domain-specific cognitive systems concerned with social exchange. However, a major challenge for their account is that each folk-economic belief can be explained by different combinations of evolved cognitive systems. We illustrate this by offering alternative explanations for several economic beliefs they discuss.
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  24.  2
    Blind to Bias? Young Children Do Not Anticipate That Sunk Costs Lead to Irrational Choices.Claudia G. Sehl, Ori Friedman & Stephanie Denison - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45 (11):e13063.
    Cognitive Science, Volume 45, Issue 11, November 2021.
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  25.  9
    Young Children Infer Preferences From a Single Action, but Not If It is Constrained.Madison L. Pesowski, Stephanie Denison & Ori Friedman - 2016 - Cognition 155 (C):168-175.
    Inferring others’ preferences is socially important and useful. We investigated whether children infer preferences from the minimal information provided by an agent’s single action, and whether they avoid inferring preference when the action is constrained. In three experiments, children saw vignettes in which an agent took a worse toy instead of a better one. Experiment 1 shows that this single action influences how young children infer preferences. Children aged three and four were more likely to infer the agent preferred the (...)
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