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Does the inherence heuristic take us to psychological essentialism?

  • Anna Marmodoro (a1), Robin A. Murphy (a2) and A. G. Baker (a3)

We argue that the claim that essence-based causal explanations emerge, hydra-like, from an inherence heuristic is incomplete. No plausible mechanism for the transition from concrete properties, or cues, to essences is provided. Moreover, the fundamental shotgun and storytelling mechanisms of the inherence heuristic are not clearly enough specified to distinguish them, developmentally, from associative or causal networks.

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A. G. Baker , R. A. Murphy & F. Vallée-Tourangeau (1996) Associative and normative models of causal induction: Reacting to versus understanding cause. In: The psychology of learning and motivation, vol. 34, ed. D. R. Shanks , K. J. Holyoak & D. L. Medin , pp. 145. Academic Press.

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M. E. Le Pelley , S. J. Reimers , G. Calvini , R. Spears , T. Beesley & R. A. Murphy (2010) Stereotype formation: Biased by association. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 139:138–61.

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D. Oderberg (2007) Real essentialism. Routledge.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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