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Confirmation: What's in the evidence?

Journal article
Authors Mitesh Kataria
Published in Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics
Volume 65
Pages 9-15
ISSN 2214-8043
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Economics
Pages 9-15
Language en
Links 10.1016/j.socec.2016.09.004
Keywords Subjective beliefs, Evidence, Prediction, Postdiction, Retrodiction, hypotheses
Subject categories Economics and Business

Abstract

The difference between accommodated evidence (i.e., when evidence is known first and then a hypothesis is proposed to explain and fit the observations) and predicted evidence (i.e., when evidence verifies the prediction of a hypothesis formulated before observing the evidence) is investigated in this article. According to the purely logical approach of Bayesian confirmation theory, accommodated and predicted evidence constitute equally strong confirmation. Using a survey experiment on a sample of students, however, it is shown that predicted evidence is perceived to constitute stronger confirmation than accommodated evidence. The results show that predictions work as a signal about the scientists' (the proposer of the hypothesis) knowledge which in turn provides stronger confirmation. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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