Bayesian Cognitive Science, Monopoly, and Neglected Frameworks

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Colombo, Matteo; Elkin, Lee; Hartmann, Stephan
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preprint description
A widely shared view in the cognitive sciences is that discovering and assessing explanations of cognitive phenomena whose production involves uncertainty should be done in a Bayesian framework. One assumption supporting this modelling choice is that Bayes provides the best approach for representing uncertainty. However, it is unclear that Bayes possesses special epistemic virtues over alternative modelling frameworks, since a systematic comparison has yet to be attempted. Currently, it is then premature to assert that cognitive phenomena involving uncertainty are best explained within the Bayesian framework. As a forewarning, progress in cognitive science may be hindered if too many scientists continue to focus their efforts on Bayesian modelling, which risks to monopolize scientific resources that may be better allocated to alternative approaches.