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01-09-2012 | Original Article | Uitgave 5/2012

Psychological Research 5/2012

A successive-conditionalization approach to disjunctive and syllogistic reasoning

Tijdschrift:
Psychological Research > Uitgave 5/2012
Auteurs:
In-mao Liu, Ting-hsi Chou

Abstract

With p and q each standing for a familiar event, a disjunctive statement, “either p or q”, seems quite different from its material conditional, “if not p then q”. The notions of sufficiency and necessity seem specific to conditional statements. It is surprising, however, to find that perceived sufficiency and necessity affect disjunctive reasoning in the way they affect conditional reasoning. With B and C each standing for a category name, a universal statement, “all B are C”, seems stronger than its logically equivalent conditional statement, “if B then C”. However, the effects of perceived sufficiency or necessity were found to be as pronounced in conditional reasoning as in syllogistic reasoning. Furthermore, two experiments also showed that (a) MP (modus ponens)-comparable disjunctive reasoning was as difficult as MT (modus tollens)-comparable disjunctive reasoning, and that (b) MT-comparable syllogisms were easier to solve than MT problems in conditional reasoning.

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