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The Probabilistic Mind:$
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Nick Chater and Mike Oaksford

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199216093

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199216093.001.0001

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ContentsFRONT MATTER

Bayesian brains and cognitive mechanisms:

Harmony or dissonance?

Chapter:
(p.189) Chapter 9 Bayesian brains and cognitive mechanisms:
Source:
The Probabilistic Mind:
Author(s):

Henry Brighton

Gerd Gigerenzer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199216093.003.0009

The chapter considers the project of probabilistic rational analysis in relation to a particularly well-studied and simple heuristic, the Take the Best algorithm. The authors relate the tension between ‘rational’ and ‘algorithmic’ explanations of cognitive phenomena to the bias-variance dilemma in statistics. Where the cognitive system must make do with little data in relation to the complexity of the problem, they suggest that simple algorithmic models, rather than full-blown probabilistic calculations, may be the cognitive system's best strategy.

Keywords:   probabilistic rational analysis, cognitive mechanisms, algorithmic models, bias-variance dilemma, statistics

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