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Investigating Normative and Descriptive Uses of Confirmation Theory

Final Report Summary - INDUCT (Investigating normative and descriptive uses of confirmation theory)

The main objectives of the INDUCT project were to clarify the normative and descriptive status of the Bayesian models of confirmation. During this year, I carried out two experimental studies and relevant theoretical analysis.

The main experimental achievements of the project are provided by the results of two empirical studies which show that:
- confirmation judgments are more accurate and reliable than probability judgments;
- intuitive assessments of confirmation relations are crucially involved in major probabilistic fallacies, such as the conjunction fallacy.
The two manuscripts reporting these studies are currently under preparation.

In addition to the two main experimental studies, I co-authored other articles concerning related topics. In particular:
- how second-order probability affects hypothesis confirmation;
- how to solve the paradox of irrelevant conjunction.

The results obtained from these empirical and theoretical studies provide a new perspective on the inductive reasoning topic, and could have significant implications for both epistemology and experimental psychology, as well as for specific applied domains.

Concerning the training objectives, I have greatly benefited from attending Prof. Chater's laboratory, and a summer school in cognitive science and machine learning. I have also been invited as a speaker at three workshops/conferences, and at a seminar which took place at the University of Leuven. These meetings provided me an important opportunity to exchange ideas and embark on new projects with other researchers working on the same topics in different universities.

Finally, as far as it concerns the contribution to my career development, I successfully applied for an Associate Professor position which was opened at the University of Trento.

Relevant contact details: