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Finding the traces of behavioral and cognitive processes in big data and naturally occurring datasets

Today, people generate and store more data than ever before as they interact with both real and virtual environments. These digital traces of behavior and cognition offer cognitive scientists and psychologists an unprecedented opportunity to test theories outside the laboratory. Despite general excitement about big data and naturally occurring datasets among researchers, three...

Sampling Assumptions Affect Use of Indirect Negative Evidence in Language Learning

A classic debate in cognitive science revolves around understanding how children learn complex linguistic patterns, such as restrictions on verb alternations and contractions, without negative evidence. Recently, probabilistic models of language learning have been applied to this problem, framing it as a statistical inference from a random sample of sentences. These probabilistic...

The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis and Probabilistic Inference: Evidence from the Domain of Color

The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis holds that our thoughts are shaped by our native language, and that speakers of different languages therefore think differently. This hypothesis is controversial in part because it appears to deny the possibility of a universal groundwork for human cognition, and in part because some findings taken to support it have not reliably replicated. We argue...

A rational model of function learning

Theories of how people learn relationships between continuous variables have tended to focus on two possibilities: one, that people are estimating explicit functions, or two that they are performing associative learning supported by similarity. We provide a rational analysis of function learning, drawing on work on regression in machine learning and statistics. Using the...

Cultural transmission results in convergence towards colour term universals

Jing Xu Mike Dowman Thomas L. Griffiths Articles on similar topics can be found in the following collections Receive free email alerts when new articles cite this article - sign up in the box at

Words as alleles: connecting language evolution with Bayesian learners to models of genetic drift

Florencia Reali () 0 Thomas L. Griffiths 0 0 Department of Psychology , 3210 Tolman Hall, MC 1650 , University of California at Berkeley , Berkeley, CA 94720-1650 , USA Articles on similar topics ... genetic drift Florencia Reali* and Thomas L. Griffiths Scientists studying how languages change over time often make an analogy between biological and cultural evolution, with words or grammars behaving

The Child as Econometrician: A Rational Model of Preference Understanding in Children

Recent work has shown that young children can learn about preferences by observing the choices and emotional reactions of other people, but there is no unified account of how this learning occurs. We show that a rational model, built on ideas from economics and computer science, explains the behavior of children in several experiments, and offers new predictions as well. First...

Subjective randomness and natural scene statistics

Accounts of subjective randomness suggest that people consider a stimulus random when they cannot detect any regularities characterizing the structure of that stimulus. We explored the possibility that the regularities people detect are shaped by the statistics of their natural environment. We did this by testing the hypothesis that people’s perception of randomness in two...

Introduction. Cultural transmission and the evolution of human behaviour

Kenny Smith () Michael L Kalish Thomas L Griffiths Stephan Lewandowsky 0 Department of Psychology, University of California , Berkeley, CA 94720-1500 , USA 1 Institute of Cognitive Science

Theoretical and empirical evidence for the impact of inductive biases on cultural evolution

The question of how much the outcomes of cultural evolution are shaped by the cognitive capacities of human learners has been explored in several disciplines, including psychology, anthropology and linguistics. We address this question through a detailed investigation of transmission chains, in which each person passes information to another along a chain. We review mathematical...

Exemplar models as a mechanism for performing Bayesian inference

Probabilistic models have recently received much attention as accounts of human cognition. However, most research in which probabilistic models have been used has been focused on formulating the abstract problems behind cognitive tasks and their optimal solutions, rather than on mechanisms that could implement these solutions. Exemplar models are a successful class of...

Iterated learning: Intergenerational knowledge transmission reveals inductive biases

Cultural transmission of information plays a central role in shaping human knowledge. Some of the most complex knowledge that people acquire, such as languages or cultural norms, can only be learned from other people, who themselves learned from previous generations. The prevalence of this process of “iterated learning” as a mode of cultural transmission raises the question of...

A multidimensional scaling approach to mental multiplication

THOMAS L. GRIFFITHS 0 MICHAEL L. KALISH 0 0 University of Western Australia , Nedlands, Australia Adults consistently make errors in solving simple multiplication problems. These errors have been