Anderson, C. A., Lane, D. M, & Kellam, K. L. (1986).

Functional relations are not models: A note on covariation detection.

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 12, 110-111.

Abstract

Surber's (1986) arguments about testing covariation detection models and about assessment of variable importance are essentially correct but inappropriately applied to analyses of functional relations. Our main points were as follows: (a) Past theorizing in several domains assumed that all rs that are equivalent in Pearson's terms are perceived as equivalent; (b) our data invalidate this assumption; (c) functionally, error variance may be the most important determinant of covariation judgment; (d) several models may account for these functional relations, but we have not tested these models; (e) researchers comparing human judgments with normative models such as Pearson's need to be aware of the obtained functional relations to avoid misinterpretation of deviations from normativeness.

©1986 by the American Psychological Association.

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