7 November 2019 – Talk ‘Explaining the evidence: causal models in legal reasoning’ by David Lagnado (Groningen)

by Admin on September 17, 2019

David Lagnado (University College London)

Explaining the evidence: Causal models in legal reasoning


Date:    Thursday, 7 November 2019

Time:    16:00-17:00, followed by drinks

Venue:  Marie Lokezaal, Harmony Building, Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat 26, Groningen, the Netherlands



How do people reason in the face of complex and contradictory information? Legal cases are particularly challenging: people must decide between competing stories, integrating a wide range of evidence from sources with varying degrees of credibility. In my talk I will argue that people have an impressive capacity for causal thinking – generating plausible models to explain the evidence – but are less proficient at evaluating these models. Due to processing limits people use simplifying strategies rather than fully Bayesian computations; these heuristic approaches produce workable models and simulations, but can lead to cognitive biases. I will discuss how formal tools such as Bayesian networks can help improve hypothesis evaluation and avoid the dangers of unbridled story-telling.


About David Lagnado

David Lagnado is a professor of experimental psychology at the University College London. His research focuses on the psychological processes that underlie human learning, reasoning and decision-making. Major themes in his work are causal models in cognition, the generation and evaluation of explanations and the interplay between causal thinking and judgments of responsibility and blame.

Deze post is ook beschikbaar in: Dutch

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