There is no belief update bias for neutral events: Failure to replicate Burton et al. (2022)

Garrett, Neil ORCID: and Sharot, Tali (2023) There is no belief update bias for neutral events: Failure to replicate Burton et al. (2022). Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 35 (8). pp. 876-886. ISSN 2044-5911

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In a recent paper, Burton et al. claim that individuals update beliefs to a greater extent when learning an event is less likely compared to more likely than expected. Here, we investigate Burton’s et al.’s, findings. First, we show how Burton et al.’s data do not in fact support a belief update bias for neutral events. Next, in an attempt to replicate their findings, we collect a new data set employing the original belief update task design, but with neutral events. A belief update bias for neutral events is not observed. Finally, we highlight the statistical errors and confounds in Burton et al.’s design and analysis. This includes mis-specifying a reinforcement learning approach to model the data and failing to follow standard computational model fitting sanity checks such as parameter recovery, model comparison and out of sample prediction. Together, the results find little evidence for biased updating for neutral events.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: Neil Garrett is funded by a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship (209108/Z/17/Z). Tali Sharot is funded by a Wellcome Trust Senior Researcher Fellowship (214268/Z/18/Z). For the purpose of open access, the authors have applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.
Uncontrolled Keywords: optimism,asymmetric learning,belief updating,experimental and cognitive psychology,arts and humanities (miscellaneous) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3200/3205
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Social Cognition Research Group
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Cognition, Action and Perception
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2023 09:30
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2023 02:40
DOI: 10.1080/20445911.2023.2245112


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