Generics, prevalence, and default inferences

Abstract

We examine the extent to which people’s judgments about whether a given member of a kind has a property are guided by prevalence estimates alone, or whether their acceptance of a generic generalization also impacts these judgments. Our data are not accounted for by prevalence estimates alone: acceptance of a generic disposes people to infer that, by default, a given member of a kind has the relevant property.


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