Jay Martin

We are all experts when it comes to making decisions about everyday categories. These decisions help us to manage the complexity of the world by allowing us perform similar actions on different things and expect the same outcome. Once a child learns that it's safe to pet a bunny, for example, she usually doesn't have to relearn that it's okay to pet each new bunny she encounters. People make these kinds of inferences effortlessly, but it's not clear on what basis. When the same child encounters a second furry, floppy-eared creature, how does she know it's not something vicious? Jay's research explores how people perform this type of inductive reasoning, particularly in causal domains.