Persistence of causal illusions after extensive training
EntityUAM. Departamento de Psicología Básica
10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00024Frontiers in Physiology 10 January (2019): Article 24
Funded byThis study was supported by the grant PSI2016-75776-R (AEI/FEDER, UE) from Agencia Estatal de Investigación of the Spanish Government and the European Regional Development Fund to IB. MV was supported by grant 2016-T1/SOC-1395 from Comunidad de Madrid (Programa de Atracción de Talento Investigador)
ProjectGobierno de España. PSI2016-75776-R; Comunidad de Madrid. 2016-T1/SOC-1395
SubjectsCausal illusion; Causal learning; Contingency learning; Extensive training; Illusion of causality; Rescorla-Wagner model; Psicología
Rights© 2019 Barberia, Vadillo and Rodríguez-Ferreiro.
Esta obra está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons Atribución 4.0 Internacional.
We carried out an experiment using a conventional causal learning task but extending the number of learning trials participants were exposed to. Participants in the standard training group were exposed to 48 learning trials before being asked about the potential causal relationship under examination, whereas for participants in the long training group the length of training was extended to 288 trials. In both groups, the event acting as the potential cause had zero correlation with the occurrence of the outcome, but both the outcome density and the cause density were high, therefore providing a breeding ground for the emergence of a causal illusion. In contradiction to the predictions of associative models such the Rescorla-Wagner model, we found moderate evidence against the hypothesis that extending the learning phase alters the causal illusion. However, assessing causal impressions recurrently did weaken participants' causal illusions.
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