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Confirmation: What's in the evidence?

Author

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  • Kataria, Mitesh

    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

The difference between accommodated evidence (i.e. when evidence is known first and a hypothesis is proposed to explain and fit the observations) and predicted evidence (i.e., when evidence verifies the prediction of a hypothesis formulated before observing the evidence) is investigated. According to Bayesian confirmation theory, accommodated and predicted evidence constitute equally strong confirmation. Using a survey experiment on a sample of students, however, it is shown that predicted evidence is perceived to constitute stronger confirmation than accommodated evidence and in line with the decision analytical framework that is presented we show that predictions work as a signal about the scientists’ knowledge which in turn provides stronger confirmation. The existence of such an indirect relationship between hypothesis and evidence can be considered to impose undesirable subjectivity and arbitrariness on questions of evidential support. Evidential support is ideally a direct and impersonal relationship between hypothesis and evidence and not an indirect and personal relationship as it has shown to be in this paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Kataria, Mitesh, 2014. "Confirmation: What's in the evidence?," Working Papers in Economics 594, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0594
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    File URL: https://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/35807
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
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    4. Williamson, Jon, 2015. "Deliberation, Judgement And The Nature Of Evidence," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(1), pages 27-65, March.
    5. Halbert White, 2000. "A Reality Check for Data Snooping," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1097-1126, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Subjective beliefs; Evidence; Prediction; Postdiction; Retrodiction;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C80 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - General

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