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Infer, Inference

Inference means to figure out something from the traces or effects it produced when you can't observe it directly. This is a very important idea, which will reappear often. For example, you can infer from tire tracks on your lawn that a car or truck drove on it. An expert infer the kind of tire and even the kind of vehicle from just the tracks.

In the same way, inferring mental processes from behavior means that you figure out what mental processes occurred from what people and other animals do in different conditions. You can't see the car that made the tire tracks, In the same way, you can't see the contents on another person's mind. For example, I have a very good memory for many different kinds of facts (this is my semantic memory; see asgn3l). But the only way you can tell is from the amount and kind of informa-tion I can dig out often correctly. You cannot look inside my mind in my mental lexicon (~dictionary).

Toinfer is process of making an inference.