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Lisa Neal <[log in to unmask]>
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Lisa Neal <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 28 Mar 2006 22:34:23 -0500
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The Cognitive Science Society is hosting a free 2005-2006 virtual colloquium
series presented live over the Internet.
Topic: Causal Reasoning and Decision Making: Imagination and Choice as
Speaker: Steven Sloman, Brown University,
Time: April 7, 2006, Friday, 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
Session Description:  
A framework for reasoning about causality has been developed by Spirtes,
Glymour, and Scheines (1993) and is reviewed in Pearl (2000). The
fundamental idea is that people represent the world by decomposing it into
autonomous causal mechanisms that support interventions. On this view, human
reasoning is understood as a tool to support human action. I report studies
showing that people are highly sensitive to the logic of intervention when
reasoning counterfactually, a logic that cannot be reduced to a set of
possibilities without a prior causal analysis. The application of the ideas
to decision making reveals that good decisions depend on causal analysis and
that preferential choice is a form of intervention. I report further studies
revealing some of the conditions under which people's choices display this
form of rationality.
Session Presenter:
Steven Sloman is Professor of Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences at Brown
University. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University in
1990 and his B.Sc. from the University of Toronto in 1986. He is a
computationally-oriented cognitive psychologist who studies topics ranging
from categorization and language use to decision-making, inductive
inference, and reasoning. Steve's recent book, Causal Models:  How We Think
About the World and Its Alternatives, was published by Oxford University
Press in 2005.
To register, here are the steps:
- Go to  You will
be taken to our Live Demonstrations & Events Page. 
- Look for the session titled " Causal Reasoning and Decision Making:
Imagination And Choice As Interventions" in the "Webinar" section. 
- Click the "Enroll Now" link next to the session 
- Enter your username and password. Or click the link for "First Time
Attendees" if you have never attended an Elluminate event before. 
- An email confirmation will be sent to with all the session details and the
software download information. 
This seminar is sponsored by Elluminate.
Contact Lisa Neal at [log in to unmask] with questions about the seminar.

Lisa Neal, Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, eLearn Magazine and Consultant, 
3 Valley Road, Lexington, MA 02421
Phone: 781-861-7373
Email: [log in to unmask]

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