We investigate the cognitive roots of people's beliefs in order to understand the biases that prevent them from changing their minds. We approach these issues by conducting behavioral studies with children and adults, developing models of reasoning, surveying experts, and using data science techniques to analyze data from social media sites.
People rely on cognitive shortcuts to explain and understand the world around them. These shortcuts allow them to build rich intuitive theories that can help them rapidly make sense of everyday physical and social phenomena. In one line of our work, we examine how people reconcile their intuitive theories with new information they learn.
Bekele, E., Lawson, W. E., Horne, Z. & Khemlani, S. (2018). Implementing a Robust Explanatory Bias in a Person Re-identification Network. IEEE.
Horne, Z. & Cimpian, A. (In Prep). The influence of an inherence heuristic on scientific explanation.
Horne, Z. & Khemlani, S. (2018). Conceptual constraints on generating explanations. Proceedings of 40th Annual Cognitive Science Society.
In the domains of medicine and morality, people are often deeply entrenched in their beliefs and resistant to any new information. These applied ethical problems motivate our research on belief revision: We examine the biases that prevent people from changing their minds. We aim to develop educational interventions to overcome these psychological obstacles.
Horne, Z., Powell, D. & Hummel, J. (2015). A single counterexample leads to moral belief revision. Cognitive Science.
Priniski, J. H., & Horne, Z. (2018). Attitude Change on Reddit's Change My View. Proceedings of 40th Annual Cognitive Science Society.
Solanki, P. & Horne, Z. (In prep). Quantifying motivated reasoning using a simple judgment task.