Probabilistic Theory

Oaksford and Chater's (1994, 1995, 1996; Chater & Oaksford, 1999a, b) probabilistic theory takes quite a different tack from the theories reviewed earlier. Unlike the other theories, it takes its normative model from probability theory rather than from logic. The core idea of the theory is that people are not reasoning per se but are attempting to maximise information gain. That is, people make choices that reduce the uncertainty of their situation and that maximise information gain about the world. So, in the selection task, people make card choices that are the most informative; they choose cards that on balance of probabilities convey the most. A hint as to the further details of the theory are shown in Panel 16.3.

Typically, this theory is applied by performing some analysis of the premises of a reasoning problem in terms of probability theory. From this analysis one can predict the information gain of all possible conclusions/choices for the problem and predict a rank ordering of which responses people are likely to make based on the information gain of each; that is, the conclusion/choice with the highest information gain should come first, the next highest being the next most likely and so on.

Business Correspondence

Business Correspondence

24 chapters on preparing to write the letter and finding the proper viewpoint how to open the letter, present the proposition convincingly, make an effective close how to acquire a forceful style and inject originality how to adapt selling appeal to different prospects and get orders by letter proved principles and practical schemes illustrated by extracts from 217 actual letter.

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