Patricia Cheng Publications

(as of November 2010)

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Cho, S., Moody, T. D., Fernandino, F., Mumford, J. A., Poldrack, R. A., Cannon, T. D., Knowlton, B. J., and Holyoak, K. J. (2010). Common and Dissociable Prefrontal Loci Associated with Component Mechanisms of Analogical Reasoning. Cerebral Cortex, 20, 524--533

Liljeholm, M. & Cheng, P.W.  (in press).  The influence of virtual sample size on confidence and causal strength judgments. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition.

Lu, H., Yuille, A. L., Liljeholm, M., Cheng, P. W., & Holyoak, K. J. (2008). Bayesian generic priors for causal learning. Psychological Review, 115, 955-982. Matlab code for models available at


Waldmann, M.R., Cheng, P.W., Hagmayer, Y., and Blaisdell, A.P. (2008). Causal learning in rats and humans: A minimal rational model. In N. Chater & M. Oaksford (Eds.), Rational models of cognition (pp. 453-484). Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press.


Liljeholm, M. & Cheng, P.W. (2007 ).  When is a cause the “same”?  Coherent generalization across contexts.  Psychological Science, 18, 1014-1021.


Cheng, P.W., Novick, L.R., Liljeholm, M. & Ford, C. (2007). Explaining Four Psychological Asymmetries in Causal Reasoning: Implications of Causal Assumptions for Coherence. In M. O’Rourke (Ed.), Topics in Contemporary Philosophy (Volume 4, pp. 1-32): Explanation and Causation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


Cheng, P.W., & Novick, L.R. (2005). Constraints and nonconstraints in causal learning: Reply to White (2005) and to Luhmann and Ahn (2005). Psychological Review, 112, 694-706.


Cheng, P.W., & Novick, L.R. (2005). Postscript. Psychological Review, 112, 706-707.


Buehner, M. & Cheng, P.W. (2005.) Causal learning. In K.J. Holyoak & R.G. Morrison (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning (pp. 143-168). New York, N. Y.: Cambridge University Press.


Novick, L.R., & Cheng, P.W. (2004). Assessing interactive causal influence. Psychological Review, 111, 455-485.


Ford, E.C., & Cheng, P.W. (2004). Sensitivity to confounding in causal inference: From childhood to adulthood. In the Proceedings of the Twenty-sixth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.


Buehner, M., Cheng, P.W., Clifford, D. (2003.) From covariation to causation: A test of the assumption of causal power. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 29, 1119-1140.


Choplin, J.M., Cheng, P.W., Holyoak, K.J. (2001). Causal information as a constraint on similarity. In the Proceedings of the Twenty-third Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.


Cheng, P.W. (2000a). Causal reasoning. In R. Wilson & F. Keil (Eds.), The MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Sciences (pp. 106-108). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


Lien, Y., & Cheng, P.W. (2000). Distinguishing genuine from spurious causes: a coherence hypothesis. Cognitive Psychology, 40, 87-137.


Cheng, P.W. (2000b). Causality in the mind: Estimating contextual and conjunctive causal power. In F. Keil & R. Wilson (Eds.), Cognition and Explanation (pp. 227-253). Cambridge: MIT Press.


Chao, J., & Cheng, P.W. (2000). The emergence of inferential rules: The use of pragmatic reasoning schemas by preshoolers. Cognitive Development, 15, 39-62.


Wu, M., & Cheng, P.W. (1999). Why causation need not follow from statistical association: Boundary conditions for the evaluation of generative and preventive causal powers. Psychological Science, 10, 92-97.


Glymour, C., & Cheng, P.W. (1998). Causal mechanism and probability: A normative approach. In M. Oaksford & N. Chater (Eds.), Rational models of cognition (pp. 295-313). Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press



Cheng, P.W. (1997). From covariation to causation: A causal power theory. Psychological Review, 104, 367-405.


Buehner, M. J., & Cheng, P.W. (1997). Causal induction: The power PC theory versus the Rescorla-Wagner model. In the Proceedings of the Nineteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 55-60). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.


Cheng, P.W., Park, J., Yarlas, A., & Holyoak, K.J. (1996). A causal-power theory of focal sets. In D.R. Shanks, K.J. Holyoak, & D.L. Medin, (Eds.), The psychology of learning and motivation, vol. 34: Causal learning (pp. 313-355). New York, NY: Academic Press.


Cheng, P. W., & Holyoak, K. J. (1995). Complex adaptive systems as intuitive statisticians: Causality, contingency, and prediction. In H. L. Roitblat & J.-A. Meyer (Eds.), Comparative approaches to cognitive science (pp. 271-302). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


Cheng, P.W., & Lien, Y. (1995). The role of coherence in differentiating genuine from spurious causes. In D. Sperber, D. Premack, & A. J. Premack (Eds.), Causal cognition: A multidisciplinary debate (pp. 463-494). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.


Holyoak, K.J., & Cheng, P.W. (1995). Pragmatic reasoning about human voluntary action: Evidence from Wason's selection task. In S. Newstead & J. St. B.T. Evans (Eds.), Perspectives on thinking and reasoning: Essays in honor of Peter Wason (pp. 67-89). East Essex, U.K.: Erlbaum.


Yarlas, A. S., Cheng, P. W., & Holyoak, K. J. (1995). Alternative approaches to causal induction: The probabilistic contrast versus the Rescorla-Wagner model. In J. D. Moore & J. F. Lehman (Eds.), Proceedings of the Seventeenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 431-436). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.


Holyoak, K.J., & Cheng, P.W. (1995 a). Pragmatic reasoning with a point of view. Thinking & Reasoning, 1, 289-313.


Holyoak, K. J., & Cheng, P. W. (1995 b). Pragmatic reasoning from multiple points of view: A response. Thinking & Reasoning, 1, 373-388.


Cheng, P.W., & Nisbett, R.E. (1993). Pragmatic constraints on causal deduction. In R.E. Nisbett (Ed.), Rules for reasoning (pp. 207 – 227). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.


Melz, E.R., Cheng, P.W., Holyoak, K.J., & Waldmann, M.R. (1993). Cue competition in human categorization: contingency or the Rescorla-Wagner learning rule? Comments on Shanks (1991). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 19, 1398-1410.


Kroger, J. K., Cheng, P.W., & Holyoak, K.J. (1993). Evoking the permission schema: The impact of explicit negation and a violation-checking context. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 46A, 615-636.


Wharton, C.M., Cheng, P.W., & Wickens, T.D. (1993). Hypothesis-testing strategies: Why two goals are better than one. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 46A, 743-758.


Cheng, P.W. (1993). Separating causal laws from casual facts: Pressing the limits of statistical relevance. In D.L. Medin (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation, vol. 30 (pp. 215-264). New York: Academic Press.


Cheng, P.W., & Novick, L.R. (1992). Covariation in natural causal induction. Psychological Review, 99, 365-382. Reprinted in Goldstein, W.M., & Hogarth, R.M. (Eds, 1997). Research on judgment and decision making: Currents, connections, and controversies. New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press.


Novick, L.R., Fratianne, A., & Cheng, P.W. (1992). Knowledge-based assumptions in causal attribution. Social Cognition, 10, 299-333.


Cheng, P.W., & Novick, L.R. (1991). Causes versus enabling conditions. Cognition, 40, 83-120.


Cheng, P.W., & Novick, L.R. (1990 a). Where is the bias in causal attribution? In K.J. Gilhooly, M. Keane, R. Logie, & G. Erdos (Eds.), Lines of thinking: reflections on the psychology of thought (pp. 181-197). Chichester, England: Wiley.


Cheng, P.W., & Novick, L.R. (1990 b). A probabilistic contrast model of causal induction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 545-567.


Cheng, P.W., & Holyoak, K.J. (1989). On the natural selection of reasoning theories. Cognition, 33, 285-313.


Lien, Y., & Cheng, P.W. (1989) A framework for psychological causal induction: Integrating the power and covariation views. Proceedings of the 11th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 729-833. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.


Nisbett, R.E., Fong, G.T., Lehman, D., & Cheng, P.W. (1987). Teaching reasoning. Science, 238, 625-631.


Cheng, P. W., Holyoak, K. J., Nisbett, R. E., & Oliver, L. M. (1986). Pragmatic versus syntactic approaches to training deductive reasoning. Cognitive Psychology, 18,



Cheng, P. W., & Carbonell J. G. (1986). The FERMI system: Inducing iterative macro-operators from experience. Proceedings of 1986 Meeting of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, 1, 490-495.


Cheng, P. W. (1985). Pictures of ghosts: A critique of Alfred Bloom's The linguistic shaping of thought. American Anthropologist, 87, 917-922.


Cheng, P. W., & Holyoak, K. J. (1985). Pragmatic reasoning schemas. Cognitive Psychology, 17, 391-416.


Cheng, P. W. (1985). Restructuring versus automaticity: Alternative accounts of skill acquisition. Psychological Review, 92, 414-424.


Cheng P. W. (1985). Categorization and response competition: Two nonautomatic factors. Psychological Review, 92, 583-584.


Cheng, P. W., & Pachella, R. G. (1984). A psychophysical approach to dimensional separability. Cognitive Psychology, 16, 279-304.