Tracking the eye of the beholder: is explanation subjective?

Stewart, Andrew, Singmann, Henrik, Haigh, Matthew, Wood, Jeffrey and Douven, Igor (2021) Tracking the eye of the beholder: is explanation subjective? Journal of Cognitive Psychology. ISSN 2044-5911 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/20445911.2020.1870986

Abstract

There is much recent evidence showing that explanation is central to various cognitive processes. On the other hand, philosophers have argued that the notions of explanation and explanation quality are too subjective for explanation to play any role in science: what may be an adequate explanation for one person may fail to be so for another. We compare the results of a study tasking participants with rating explanation quality with those of an eye-tracking study, finding that ratings of explanation quality from participants in the former study were strongly predictive of the ease with which participants in the latter study processed text fragments presenting the same explanations that were used in the rating study. This finding undermines the thought that explanation is only in the eye of the beholder.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: comprehension, explanation quality, explanatory coherence, explanatory reasoning, eye tracking
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2021 17:02
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2021 14:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/45227

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