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Area of research: Exploratory Research and Innovation

The REI (Exploratory Research and Innovation) area of research works in close collaboration with the P-A-R-I-S (Probability, Assessment, Reasoning and Inferences Studies) group, which constitutes a topic of the CHArt (Human and Artificial Cognition) laboratory.

This area of research has the objective of carrying out cognitive psychology work that focuses on uncertain reasoning: defeasible inference (Ragni, Eichhorn, Bock, Kern-Isberner, and Ping Ping Tse, 2017); induction (Kemp and Jern, 2013); and abduction (Schurz, 2007, 2016). These inferences underlie ordinary cognition, and allow individuals to form and revise their beliefs in situations where information is uncertain, vague, or contradictory (for a typology of the forms of uncertainty see Bradley and Drechsler, 2013 as well as Motro and Smets, 1997). The REI approach focuses on reasoning made at its highest degree of abstraction as well as its use in more specific contexts such as in situations involving causality. Uncertain inferences that are based on cause and effect relationships and that are notably involved in the construction, selection, or validation of explanation (Lombrozo, 2012; Lombrozo and Gwynne, 2014) also constitute an important focus within this area of research.

Research Projekt

Our research will involve the following steps:

  1. Study the reasoning strategies followed by individuals in situations of causal diagnostic reasoning. The diagnostic is a form of reasoning under uncertainty that allows the probability of a cause to be estimated knowing the occurrence of an effect: P(c|e). Two strategy families have particularly attracted our attention: strategies based on the defeasible deduction forms and, on the other hand, strategies that rely on abduction (Stilgenbauer and Baratgin, 2017).
  2. Study the quality of the estimations of the diagnostic probability P(c|e) according to the reasoning strategy followed by the individuals.
  3. Carry out a certain number of studies based on eye-tracking techniques in order to determine the type of knowledge spontaneously activated by the individuals when they initiate uncertain reasoning and diagnostic reasoning in particular.


Novembre 2017
Journée d’étude « Raisonnement Rationalité ».