On the Value of Synthetic Judgments. Revision.
CALIFORNIA UNIV LOS ANGELES COGNITIVE SYSTEMS LAB
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Decision-support technologies are founded on the paradigm that direct judgments are less reliable and less valid than synthetic inferences produced from more fragmentary judgments. Moreover, certain types of fragments are normally assumed to be more valid than others. In particular, judgments about the likelihood of a certain state of affairs given a particular set of data diagnostic inferences are routinely fabricated from judgments about the likelihood of that data given various states of affairs causal inferences, and not vice versa. This study was designed to test the benefits of causal synthesis schemes by comparing the validity of causal and diagnostic judgments against ground-truth standards.