March's first Friday will be our first outside speaker for a lunchtime talk! Paul Henne from Duke will be giving his talk, " An Explanation of the Omission Effect" on March 2nd from 12-1 in 220 Malloy Hall. For more info on Paul, please visit his website.
People’s causal judgments are susceptible to the omission effect, whereby they judge omissions to be less causal than acts. On one explanation of this effect, people judge omissions to be less causal than acts because omissions do not transfer force whereas acts do. On the new explanation we propose here—the normality explanation—people judge omissions to be less causal than acts because they perceive omissions to be more normal than acts. Recent work finds that people judge normal events in overdetermination cases to be more causal than abnormal events. This finding yields a novel test of the normality explanation: if the explanation is correct, then in overdetermination cases people should actually judge omissions to be more causal than acts. Experiment 1 conceptually replicates the original omission effect. In Experiment 2, we find that people judge omissions to be more causal than acts in overdetermination cases, supporting the normality explanation.