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Type: Journal article
Title: The diversity effect in inductive reasoning depends on sampling assumptions
Author: Hayes, B.K.
Navarro, D.J.
Stephens, R.G.
Ransom, K.
Dilevski, N.
Citation: Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 2019; 26(3):1043-1050
Publisher: Springer
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 1069-9384
Statement of
Brett K. Hayes, Danielle J. Navarro, Rachel G. Stephens, Keith Ransom, Natali Dilevski
Abstract: A key phenomenon in inductive reasoning is the diversity effect, whereby a novel property is more likely to be generalized when it is shared by an evidence sample composed of diverse instances than a sample composed of similar instances. We outline a Bayesian model and an experimental study that show that the diversity effect depends on the assumption that samples of evidence were selected by a helpful agent (strong sampling). Inductive arguments with premises containing either diverse or nondiverse evidence samples were presented under different sampling conditions, where instructions and filler items indicated that the samples were selected intentionally (strong sampling) or randomly (weak sampling). A robust diversity effect was found under strong sampling, but was attenuated under weak sampling. As predicted by our Bayesian model, the largest effect of sampling was on arguments with nondiverse evidence, where strong sampling led to more restricted generalization than weak sampling. These results show that the characteristics of evidence that are deemed relevant to an inductive reasoning problem depend on beliefs about how the evidence was generated.
Keywords: Bayesian modeling
Category-based induction
Evidence diversity
Relevance theory
Sampling assumptions
Rights: © The Author(s) 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
DOI: 10.3758/s13423-018-1562-2
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