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Abstract

It is hypothesized that causal attributions are made by transforming covariation information into evidence according to notions of evidential value, and that causal judgement is a function of the proportion of instances that are evaluated as confirmatory for the causal hypothesis under test: this is called the evidential evaluation model. An experiment was designed to test the judgemental rule in this model by setting up problems presenting consensus, distinctiveness, and consistency information in which the proportion of confirmatory instances varied but the objective contingency did not. It was found that judgements tended to vary with the proportion of confirmatory instances. Several other current models of causal judgement or causal attribution fail to account for this result. Similar findings have been obtained in studies of causal judgement from contingency information, so the present findings support an argument that the evidential evaluation model provides a unified account of judgement in both domains. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.