Location of Repository

Comprehension and computation in Bayesian problem solving

By Eric D. Johnson, Eric D. Johnson and Elisabet eTubau and Elisabet eTubau

Abstract

Humans have long been characterized as poor probabilistic reasoners when presented with explicit numerical information. Bayesian word problems provide a well-known example of this, where even highly educated and cognitively skilled individuals fail to adhere to mathematical norms. It is widely agreed that natural frequencies can facilitate Bayesian reasoning relative to normalized formats (e.g. probabilities, percentages), both by clarifying logical set-subset relations and by simplifying numerical calculations. Nevertheless, between-study performance on transparent Bayesian problems varies widely, and generally remains rather unimpressive. We suggest there has been an over-focus on this representational facilitator (i.e. transparent problem structures) at the expense of the specific logical and numerical processing requirements and the corresponding individual abilities and skills necessary for providing Bayesian-like output given specific verbal and numerical input. We further suggest that understanding this task-individual pair could benefit from considerations from the literature on mathematical cognition, which emphasizes text comprehension and problem solving, along with contributions of online executive working memory, metacognitive regulation, and relevant stored knowledge and skills. We conclude by offering avenues for future research aimed at identifying the stages in problem solving at which correct versus incorrect reasoners depart, and how individual difference might influence this time point

Topics: individual differences, text comprehension, numeracy, Bayesian reasoning, mathematical problem solving, set-subset reasoning, Psychology, BF1-990
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00938
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:0c6d5ce3cf2b499f9b8395550a55bd58
Journal:
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • https://doaj.org/toc/1664-1078 (external link)
  • http://journal.frontiersin.org... (external link)
  • https://doaj.org/article/0c6d5... (external link)
  • Suggested articles


    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.