Aidan Feeney

Aidan Feeney
Queen's University Belfast | QUB · School of Psychology

PhD

About

86
Publications
21,061
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1,582
Citations
Citations since 2016
24 Research Items
927 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200

Publications

Publications (86)
Article
Full-text available
Although regret is assumed to facilitate good decision making, there is little research directly addressing this assumption. Four experiments (N = 326) examined the relation between children's ability to experience regret and the quality of their subsequent decision making. In Experiment 1 regret and adaptive decision making showed the same develop...
Article
Across a range of domains in psychology different theories assume different mental representations of knowledge. For example, in the literature on category-based inductive reasoning, certain theories (e.g. Rogers & McClelland, 2004; Sloutsky & Fisher, 2008) assume that the knowledge upon which inductive inferences are based is associative whereas o...
Article
Full-text available
Recent claims contrast relief experienced because a period of unpleasant uncertainty has ended and an outcome has materialized (temporal relief)—regardless of whether it is one’s preferred outcome—with relief experienced because a particular outcome has occurred, when the alternative was unpalatable (counterfactual relief). Two studies ( N = 993),...
Chapter
Given current global migration patterns, understanding of children's intuitions about nationality and national categories is an important and emerging focus for developmental psychologists. We review theoretical and empirical work on three different types of intuition: (1) that nationality is primarily determined by ancestry (an ethnic intuition);...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has found that stigma can be a barrier to service use but there has been little work examining actual service encounters involving members of stigmatized groups. One such group are those with problematic or unmanageable debts. Providing advice to members of this group is likely to be particularly difficult due to the stigma associ...
Article
Full-text available
Developmentalists have investigated relief as a counterfactually mediated emotion, but not relief experienced when negative events end—so-called temporal relief. This study represents the first body of work to investigate the development of children’s understanding of temporal relief and compare it with their understanding of counterfactual relief....
Article
Full-text available
Despite being implicated in a wide range of psychological and behavioral phenomena, relief remains poorly understood from the perspective of psychological science. What complicates the study of relief is that people seem to use the term to describe an emotion that occurs in two distinct situations: when an unpleasant episode is over, or upon realiz...
Article
The relations between prosocial risk taking (taking a risk to benefit another person; PSRT) and interpersonal regret (regret that one's choices have caused a poor outcome for another person) were examined in 192 children aged 7–9. PSRT was measured by children's choices within a gambling task in which one choice guaranteed participants a good prize...
Article
Background: It is known that there is an association between debt and poor mental health. However, much of the literature is observational and focuses on how debt may lead to poor mental health. Here, we are interested in how poor mental health may be associated with debt advice adherence. Aims: The aim of the study was to investigate the relation...
Article
The willingness to take a risk is shaped by temperaments and cognitive abilities, both of which develop rapidly during childhood. In the adult developmental literature, a distinction is drawn between description-based tasks, that provide explicit choice-reward information, and experience-based tasks, that require decisions from past experience, eac...
Article
Numerous studies have examined the development of regret about choices yielding non-optimal outcomes for the self (intrapersonal regret), but regret can also be experienced when one’s choices lead to poor outcomes for another person (interpersonal regret). We investigated interpersonal regret in children using a novel prosocial risk taking task tha...
Article
Full-text available
Regret is a common emotion that has important links with decision-making in adults. Recent research suggests that the ability to experience regret emerges relatively late in development. By around 6 years, most children will experience regret, but the likelihood of experiencing this emotion increases across childhood and into adolescence. The devel...
Preprint
Full-text available
Given current global migration patterns, understanding of children’s intuitions about nationality and national categories is an important and emerging focus for developmental psychologists. We review theoretical and empirical work on three different types of intuition: (1) that nationality is primarily determined by ancestry (an ethnic intuition);...
Preprint
Full-text available
Social essentialism is the intuitive assumption that members of social categories share underlying properties that determine category membership and cause observable regularities. We investigate cultural differences in social essentialism in the USA, Northern Ireland, and China. In Study 1, 106 undergraduates from the US and Northern Ireland rated...
Conference Paper
Research has found that professional advice with empathy displays and signs of listening lead to more successful outcomes. These skills are typically displayed through visual nonverbal signals, whereas reduced multimodal contexts have to use other strategies to compensate for the lack of visual nonverbal information. Debt advice is often a highly e...
Article
Children (6- and 7-year-olds) decided whether to wait for a short delay to win a prize or for a longer period to win a different prize. Those who chose to take their prize after a short delay won two candies but were shown that they would have won four candies if they had waited longer. We measured whether children regretted their choice not to wai...
Article
Full-text available
What are the main contributing factors to road accidents? Factors such as inexperience, lack of skill, and risk-taking behaviors have been associated with the collisions of young drivers. In contrast, visual, cognitive, and mobility impairment have been associated with the collisions of older drivers. We investigated the main causes of road acciden...
Article
Full-text available
Categories are one of the primary ways by which people make sense of complex environments. For political environments, parties are especially useful categories. By simplifying political life, party categories enable people to make sense of politics. A fundamental characteristic of party categories is that they minimize perceived differences of memb...
Article
Regret over missed opportunities leads adults to take more risks. Given recent evidence that the ability to experience regret impacts decisions made by six year olds, and pronounced interest in the antecedents to risk taking in adolescence, we investigated the age at which a relationship between missed opportunities and risky decision making emerge...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Police records represent the primary source of data on the role of driver distraction in crashes. It is commonly assumed that officers attending the crash scene tend to underreport driver distraction as a contributing factor in crashes. However, this assumption has never been explicitly tested. Thus, the goal of this study was to empirically estima...
Article
Full-text available
Social essentialism, the belief that members of certain social categories share unobservable properties, licenses expectations that those categories are natural and a good basis for inference. A challenge for cognitive developmental theory is to give an account of how children come to develop essentialist beliefs about socially important categories...
Article
Full-text available
Social essentialism, the belief that members of certain social categories share unobservable properties, licenses expectations that those categories are natural and a good basis for inference. A challenge for cognitive developmental theory is to give an account of how children come to develop essentialist beliefs about socially important categories...
Article
Full-text available
Although a number of studies have examined the developmental emergence of counterfactual emotions of regret and relief, none of these has used tasks that resemble those used with adolescents and adults, which typically involve risky decision making. We examined the development of the counterfactual emotions of regret and relief in two experiments u...
Article
Reasoning that is deliberative and reflective often requires the inhibition of intuitive responses. The Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT) is designed to assess people’s ability to suppress incorrect heuristic responses in favor of deliberation. Correct responding on the CRT predicts performance on a range of tasks in which intuitive processes lead to...
Conference Paper
Theories of category-based human inductive reasoning typically rely on either associative or structured knowledge about relationships between categories. Here, we test a prediction, derived from a hybrid theory that utilizes both kinds of knowledge representation, that participants will experience conflict on a reasoning task in which associative a...
Article
Full-text available
In line with the claim that regret plays a role in decision making, O'Connor, McCormack, and Feeney (Child Development, 85 (2014) 1995-2010) found that children who reported feeling sadder on discovering they had made a non-optimal choice were more likely to make a different choice the next time around. We examined two issues of interpretation rega...
Article
We explored the development of sensitivity to causal relations in children’s inductive reasoning. Children (5-, 8-, and 12-year-olds) and adults were given trials in which they decided whether a property known to be possessed by members of one category was also possessed by members of (a) a taxonomically related category or (b) a causally related c...
Article
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People often struggle when making Bayesian probabilistic estimates on the basis of competing sources of statistical evidence. Recently, Krynski and Tenenbaum (Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 136, 430-450, 2007) proposed that a causal Bayesian framework accounts for peoples' errors in Bayesian reasoning and showed that, by clarifying th...
Article
Full-text available
Although recent studies have established that children experience regret from around 6 years, we do not yet know when the ability to anticipate this emotion emerges, despite the importance of the anticipation of regret in decision-making. We examined whether children will anticipate they will feel regret if they were to find out in a box-choosing g...
Article
Full-text available
Base rate neglect on the mammography problem can be overcome by explicitly presenting a causal basis for the typically vague false-positive statistic. One account of this causal facilitation effect is that people make probabilistic judgements over intuitive causal models parameterized with the evidence in the problem. Poorly defined or difficult-to...
Conference Paper
Previous work suggests that inductive and deductive reasoning may be accomplished by different processes. Here, we examine whether different phenomena of inductive reasoning, previously explained in the same way, may rely on different types of processes. In Experiment 1 we show that trials which examine sensitivity to sample size in inductive reaso...
Article
Full-text available
Scalar terms have been the focus of much recent attention. People can interpret such terms narrowly, for example, interpreting A or B to convey A or B but not both, on the grounds that a speaker would have explicitly used a more informative term (i.e., and) had he or she been in a position to do so; or they can interpret such terms broadly (A or B...
Article
Causal conditional statements such as 'if I work hard then I will get a first class degree' are comprised of an effect described in the consequent clause of the conditional (getting a first class degree) and a putative cause described in the antecedent clause (working hard). According to the suppositional theory (Evans, Over, & Handley (2005)), peo...
Article
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We review evidence showing that politeness taxes mental resources and creates confusion about what is truly meant during interactions. While this confusion can be useful in low-stakes situations, it can have negative, even dangerous consequences in high-stakes situations such as flying a plane in an emergency or helping a patient decide on a course...
Article
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We are neither as pessimistic nor as optimistic as Elqayam & Evans (E&E). The consequences of normativism have not been uniformly disastrous, even among the examples they consider. However, normativism won't be going away any time soon and in the literature on causal Bayes nets new debates about normativism are emerging. Finally, we suggest that to...
Article
In two experiments, 4- to 9-year-olds played a game in which they selected one of two boxes to win a prize. On regret trials the unchosen box contained a better prize than the prize children actually won, and on baseline trials the other box contained a prize of the same value. Children rated their feelings about their prize before and after seeing...
Article
Full-text available
Four experiments investigated how people judge the plausibility of category-based arguments, focusing on the diversity effect, in which arguments with diverse premise categories are considered particularly strong. In Experiment 1 we show that priming people as to the nature of the blank property determines whether sensitivity to diversity is observ...
Article
Full-text available
Relevance theory (Sperber & Wilson, 1995) suggests that people expend cognitive effort when processing information in proportion to the cognitive effects to be gained from doing so. This theory has been used to explain how people apply their knowledge appropriately when evaluating category-based inductive arguments (Medin, Coley, Storms, & Hayes, 2...
Article
Full-text available
Accounts of category-based inductive reasoning can be distinguished by the emphasis they place on structured versus unstructured knowledge. In addition, it has been claimed that certain domains of structured knowledge are more available than others. Using a speeded task paradigm, participants rated the strength of inductive arguments in which the c...
Article
Full-text available
By enabling a comparison between what is and what might have been, counterfactual thoughts amplify our emotional responses to bad outcomes. Well-known demonstrations such as the action effect (the tendency to attribute most regret to a character whose actions brought about a bad outcome) and the temporal order effect (the tendency to undo the last...
Article
Accounts of the scalar inference from 'some X-ed' to 'not all X-ed' are central to the debate between contemporary theories of conversational pragmatics. An important contribution to this debate is to identify contexts that decrease the endorsement rate of the inference. We suggest that the inference is endorsed less often in face-threatening conte...
Article
Full-text available
In two experiments we tested the prediction derived from Tversky and Kahneman's (1983) work on the causal conjunction fallacy that the strength of the causal connection between constituent events directly affects the magnitude of the causal conjunction fallacy. We also explored whether any effects of perceived causal strength were due to graded out...
Article
We describe evidence that certain inductive phenomena are associated with IQ, that different inductive phenomena emerge at different ages, and that the effects of causal knowledge on induction are decreased under conditions of memory load. On the basis of this evidence we argue that there is more to inductive reasoning than semantic cognition.
Article
Although Sloutsky agrees with our interpretation of our data, he argues that the totality of the evidence supports his claim that children make inductive generalisations on the basis of similarity. Here we take issue with his characterisation of the alternative hypotheses in his informal analysis of the data, and suggest that a thorough Bayesian an...
Article
Full-text available
Three experiments investigated the effect of rarity on people's selection and interpretation of data in a variant of the pseudodiagnosticity task. For familiar (Experiment 1) but not for arbitrary (Experiment 3) materials, participants were more likely to select evidence so as to complete a likelihood ratio when the initial evidence they received w...
Article
Full-text available
We use the literature on mechanical reasoning to derive predictions about how people will test a mechanical rule. In the presence of a single rule we predict significantly more selections of tests in which the hypothesized cause is manipulated than in the presence of two rules: the original and one casting doubt on the sufficiency of the hypothesiz...
Article
We apply an autobiographical memory framework to the study of regret. Focusing on the distinction between regrets for specific and general events we argue that the temporal profile of regret, usually explained in terms of the action-inaction distinction, is predicted by models of autobiographical memory. In two studies involving participants in the...
Article
In a recently published study, Sloutsky and Fisher [Sloutsky, V. M., & Fisher, A.V. (2004a). When development and learning decrease memory: Evidence against category-based induction in children. Psychological Science, 15, 553-558; Sloutsky, V. M., & Fisher, A. V. (2004b). Induction and categorization in young children: A similarity-based model. Jou...
Article
Byrne's approach to the semifactual conditional captures the reasoning data. However, we argue that it does not account for the processes or principles by which people arrive at representations of even-if conditionals, upon which their reasoning is said to be based. Drawing upon recent work on the suppositional conditional we present such an accoun...
Article
Full-text available
Recent evidence suggests that the conjunction fallacy observed in people's probabilistic reasoning is also to be found in their evaluations of inductive argument strength. We presented 130 participants with materials likely to produce a conjunction fallacy either by virtue of a shared categorical or a causal relationship between the categories in t...
Article
Two studies investigated participants' sensitivity to the amount and diversity of the evidence when reasoning inductively about categories. Both showed that participants are more sensitive to characteristics of the evidence for arguments with general rather than specific conclusions. Both showed an association between cognitive ability and sensitiv...
Article
Full-text available
People tend to attribute more regret to a character who has decided to take action and experienced a negative outcome than to one who has decided not to act and experienced a negative outcome. For some decisions, however, this finding is not observed in a between-participants design and thus appears to rely on comparisons between people's represent...
Article
Previous accounts of regret suggest that people report greater regret for inaction than for action because the former is longer lasting and more painful than the latter. We suggest instead that the tendency for people's greatest regrets to concern inaction more than action may be due to the relatively self-enhancing nature of regrets for inaction....
Article
Full-text available
According to the diversity principle, diverse evidence is strong evidence. There has been considerable evidence that people respect this principle in inductive reasoning. However, exceptions may be particularly informative. Medin, Coley, Storms, and Hayes (2003) introduced a relevance theory of inductive reasoning and used this theory to predict ex...
Article
• Why do some observations lead to broad generalizations whereas other observations do not have as much influence on people's beliefs? One principle of evaluating evidence is the diversity principle, which states that more diverse evidence should lead to stronger inferences than a narrow sample of evidence. There are two views on the diversity prin...
Article
dinary reasoning does indeed follow the diversity principle. Typically, the descriptive view has relied on experimental evidence investigating various subject populations. This chapter will be organized in terms of these views. The first two sections will briefly summarize the positive cases for the normative view and the descriptive view. Then, th...
Article
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The statement, some elephants have trunks, is logically true but pragmatically infelicitous. Whilst some is logically consistent with all, it is often pragmatically interpreted as precluding all. In Experiments 1 and 2, we show that with pragmatically impoverished materials, sensitivity to the pragmatic implicature associated with some is apparent...
Conference Paper
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People sometimes appear to build analogical representations in order to reason about graphical information. In this paper we consider the extent to which the tendency to represent information analogically calls on spatial resources. We also examine whether people who represent graphical information analogically also represent numerical information...
Article
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We describe an experiment designed to investigate whether people represent information presented graphically by analogy to space. Participants were presented with pairs of line graphs and bar graphs that specified the relationships between pairs of terms (A, B; B, C). The order of these terms was manipulated so that the end terms were either separa...
Chapter
Researchers interested in the psychology of reasoning often regard pragmatics as being somehow less worthy of interest than ‘actual reasoning’. Pragmatic factors are often regarded as extraneous variables that interfere with people’s ability to compute logical inferences. Another view is that there are separate associative and symbol-manipulating s...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we report on our attempts to fit the optimal data selection (ODS) model (Oaksford & Chater, 1994; Oaksford, Chater, & Larkin, 2000) to the selection task data reported in Feeney and Handley (2000) and Handley, Feeney, and Harper (2002). Although Oaksford (2002b) reports good fits to the data described in Feeney and Handley (2000), the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper we argue that people sometimes construct analogical representations of the information that they extract from simple graphs and that these representations are subject to the same nomic constraints as the original graphical representations. We briefly review behavioural and neuropsychological findings across a range of tasks related to...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we examine how people represent graphical information. We present a constrained graphical reasoning task isomorphic in logical structure to a three-term series reasoning problem. Participants were shown pairs of simple line graphs (premise graphs) and were then required to verify a third line graph (conclusion graph). We found that pa...
Article
Three experiments examined the influence of a second rule on the pattern of card selections on Wason's selection task. In Experiment 1 participants received a version of the task with a single test rule or one of two versions of the task with the same original test rule together with a second rule. The probability of q was manipulated in the two-ru...
Article
We present the results of two experiments investigating the factors that determine responding on the pseudo-diagnosticity task. In Expt 1 we manipulated people's beliefs about the degree to which an initial piece of evidence supported a focal hypothesis and found decreased pseudo-diagnostic (PD) responding when the evidence offered low support for...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we investigate the role of category size in category-based induction. In a series of three experiments we asked participants about the strength of inductive inferences from arbitrary subordinate categories to their superordinates. We show that people use both subordinate and superordinate category size as a cue in category-based induc...
Article
Full-text available
The results of three experiments investigating the role of deductive inference in Wason's selection task are reported. In Experiment 1, participants received either a standard one-rule problem or a task containing a second rule, which specified an alternative antecedent. Both groups of participants were asked to select those cards that they conside...
Article
Gigerenzer, Todd, and the ABC Research Group argue that optimisation under constraints leads to an infinite regress due to decisions about how much information to consider when deciding. In certain cases, however, their fast and frugal heuristics lead instead to an endless series of decisions about how best to decide.