Professor, colleague publish paper on human process of reasoning

05/05/15 wth/kb
Dr. Trey Hill, an assistant professor of psychology at Fort Hays State University, along with a colleague from Kansas State University, published a review of the literature on a special type of reasoning known as "Bayesian reasoning."

Hill and Dr. Gary Brase, Kansas State, published "Good Fences Make for Good Neighbors But Bad Science: A Review of What Improves Bayesian Reasoning and Why" in Frontiers in Psychology.

Bayesian reasoning is a kind of mathematical process for predicting future events from past events.

"Historically, humans have been treated as completely rational, performing tasks with perfect calculation of the odds of every possible decision," said Hill. "Humans have also been characterized as systematically flawed, making decisions on instincts or incomplete information, with sometimes disastrous results."

"Good Fences," said Hill, includes summaries of other work that he and Brase have published and characterizes humans as rational in specific situations. Those situations where humans appear rational just happen to be the ones humans likely experienced constantly over their evolutionary history. He said the manuscript also describes ways that this "evolutionary" rationality may be tailored to make people appear more rational in their day-to-day behavior.

The article can be found at journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00340/abstract. The journal is open access and available to the public.

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