The research reported in this article replicated the well-established phenomenon of competition between causes (C) as well as the more controversial presence and absence of competition between effects (E). The test question was identified as a crucial factor leading to each outcome. Competition between causes was obtained when the test question asked about the probability of E given C, p(E/C), implicitly compared with the probability of E given some alternative cause, p(E/C'). competition between effects was obtained when the test question asked about p(C/E) implicitly compared with p(C/E'). Under these conditions, effects competed for diagnostic value just as causes competed for predictive value. Additionally, some conditions in which neither causes nor effects competed were identified. These results suggest a bidirectional and noncompetitive learning process, the contents of which can be used in different ways (competitively or noncompetitively and forward or backward) as a function of test demands.
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