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Individual Differences in Cognitive Science: Conceptual and Methodological Issues

Ward, Zina B. (2020) Individual Differences in Cognitive Science: Conceptual and Methodological Issues. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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A primary aim of cognitive science is the investigation of psychological and neuroscientific generalizations that hold across subjects. Individual differences between people’s minds and brains are pervasive, however, even among subjects considered neurotypical. In this dissertation, I argue that both scientific practice and our philosophical understanding of science must be updated to reflect the presence of such individual differences. The first half of the dissertation proposes and applies a philosophical account of what it takes to explain variation, while the second half identifies several methods in psychology and neuroscience that demand reform in light of existing individual differences.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Ward, Zina B.zbw2@pitt.eduzbw20000-0003-0160-6656
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMachery,
Committee MemberWoodward,
Committee MemberDanks,
Committee MemberChirimuuta,
Committee MemberAllen,
Date: 16 September 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 20 May 2020
Approval Date: 16 September 2020
Submission Date: 12 May 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 194
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History and Philosophy of Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: philosophy of science, philosophy of cognitive science, individual differences, variation, causation, explanation, data aggregation, actual difference making, rational analysis, rational models, interventionism, registration, hierarchical Bayesian models, causal learning
Additional Information: This is the updated (and hopefully final) version.
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2020 15:20
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2020 15:20


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