Updating: A psychologically basic situation of probability revision

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The Bayesian model has been used in psychology as the standard reference for the study of probability revision. In the first part of this paper we show that this traditional choice restricts the scope of the experimental investigation of revision to a stable universe. This is the case of a situation that, technically, is known as focusing. We argue that it is essential for a better understanding of human probability revision to consider another situation called updating (Katsuno & Mendelzon, 1992), in which the universe is evolving. In that case the structure of the universe has definitely been transformed and the revision message conveys information on the resulting universe. The second part of the paper presents four experiments based on the Monty Hall puzzle that aim to show that updating is a natural frame for individuals to revise their beliefs.

Keywords: Bayes' rule; Focusing; Probability revision; Updating

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13546783.2010.519564

Affiliations: 1: University of Paris 8 (Laboratory Paragraphe, CRAC) and Institut Jean Nicod, Paris, France 2: Institut Jean Nicod, Paris and University of Paris 8, France

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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