The Bat And Ball Problem 20 Years Later

In 2002, a chapter from Kahneman and Frederick mentioned “the bat and ball problem”.

A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total.
The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball.
How much does the ball cost?

By 2005, Frederick’s Cognitive Reflection Test paper added the lesser known Widgets and Lily Pad problems. In the intervening 20-ish years, each paper seems to have accrued over 5000 citations.

In 2023, Meyer and Frederick published a massive follow-up paper about the first problem: 59 studies, over 73,000 participants, and more pages of Appendixes than pages in the main article. As someone studying various reflection tests and interventions, I had to take a look right away. In this post, I list five initial takeaways and two things to like about the paper.

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Upon Reflection, Ep. 10: Great Minds Do Not Think Alike

This time I read my 2022 paper in Review of Philosophy and Psychology titled, “Great Minds Do Not Think Alike: Philosophers’ Views Predicted by Reflection, Education, Personality, and Other Demographic Differences“. As the title suggests, various psychological factors predicted variance in philosophers’ answers to classic philosophical questions. This raises questions about how psychological and demographic differences can explain philosophical differences. There are also implications for scientific psychologists as well as academic philosophers.

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Non-Western Philosophy of Mind

I have been considering changes to my Philosophy of Mind syllabus. One kind of change would be to include non-Western philosophies and philosophers. So I did what every scholar of our era does when it’s time to venture in to new territory: I asked #PhilosophyTwitter. In this post, I’ll share the results.

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Upon Reflection, Ep. 7: Unreflective Intentions Are Compatible With Free Will

On this episode of Upon Reflection, I read my 2021 paper in Logoi titled, “On Second Thought, Libet-style Unreflective Intentions May Be Compatible With Free Will“. Imagine if I could predict your behavior before you even became conscious of your intention to behave that way. Would this mean that you don’t have free will? I used to think so. In this paper, I explain why I was wrong: my view of free will involved magical thinking.

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What good is reflective reasoning?

Philosophers and cognitive scientists tend to think that reflective reasoning will improve our judgments and decisions. The idea reflection will lead us to test our judgments by “looking for their coherence with our beliefs about similar cases and our beliefs about a broader range of …issues” a la reflective equilibrium. This sounds intuitively plausible. But is it true? In this post I briefly present some research suggesting that reflective reasoning often, but does not always improve our judgments and decisions.  Continue reading What good is reflective reasoning?

Upon Reflection, Ep. 5: Reflective Reasoning For Real People (Dissertation Overview)

Welcome to Upon Reflection. In this episode, I review the major take-aways and findings from my dissertation titled, “Reflective Reasoning For Real People”. I explain what cognitive scientists mean by terms like “reflective reasoning”, how reflection is measured empirically, how reflection can either help or hinder our reasoning, how more reflective philosophers tend toward certain philosophical beliefs, and how reflection may help us retrain our implicit biases.

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Anders Ericsson (1947-2020)

My colleagues and I are deeply saddened about the unexpected passing of Anders Ericsson on June 17. Dr. Ericsson was not only a massive figure in psychology, philosophy, performance, and beyond but—in my experience—an outstanding person.

Standout Memories

There is much to say about Anders. I can speak only to the past few years—and only a slice of it. Nonetheless, that slice of Anders is rich. Indulge me in just three stories.

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