When the Pieces Do Not Quite Fit: The Role of Anomalous Information in Evaluating Explanations
No explanation is perfect. There are usually data that are anomalous to an explanation. We investigated two variables, resolving an anomaly and supporting an explanation, that make strong vs. weak anomalies more or less problematic for an explanation. Participants were given an explanation and an anomaly and then were asked to generate or were given someone else’s resolution to an anomaly or support for an explanation. Results showed that in certain conditions hearing about rather than generating information made the anomalies seem less problematic for the explanation. Determining the subtle relationship between these variables is important in understanding what shapes everyday reasoning.
Scientific Thinking; Explanation; Anomaly; Confirmation Bias
dissertation or thesis