Syllogistic inference

Cognition 16 (1):1-61 (1984)
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This paper reviews current psychological theories of syllogistic inference and establishes that despite their various merits they all contain deficiencies as theories of performance. It presents the results of two experiments, one using syllogisms and the other using three-term series problems, designed to elucidate how the arrangement of terms within the premises affects performance. These data are used in the construction of a theory based on the hypothesis that reasoners construct mental models of the premises, formulate informative conclusions about the relations in the model, and search for alternative models that are counterexamples to these conclusions. This theory, which has been implemented in several computer programs, predicts that two principal factors should affect performance: the figure of the premises, and the number of models that they call for. These predictions were confirmed by a third experiment. Dans cet article sont passées en revue les théories psychologiques du traitement des syllogismes. On établit qu'en dépit de leurs mérites variés toutes sont en défaut en tant que théories de la performance. On présente les résultats de deux expériences, une utilisant des syllogismes et l'autre des problémes avec des séries de trois termes conçues pour élucider comment l'arrangement des termes dans les premises affecte la performance. Ces données sont utilisées pour construire une théorie fondée sur l'hypothése que les gens construisent des modèles mentaux des premises, formulent des conclusions explicites sur les relations dans le modèle et cherchent des modèles qui seraient des contre-exemples pour leurs conclusions. Cette théorie, utilisée dans plusieurs programmes d'ordinateur, prédit que deux principaux facteurs affectent la performance: la figure des premises et le nombre de; modèles qu'ils mettent en jeu. Cette prédiction est confirmée dans les trois expériences



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References found in this work

Generalized quantifiers and natural language.John Barwise & Robin Cooper - 1981 - Linguistics and Philosophy 4 (2):159--219.
Truth and meaning.Donald Davidson - 1967 - Synthese 17 (1):304-323.
Truth and meaning.Donald Davidson - 1967 - Synthese 17 (1):304-323.
Generalized Quantifiers and Natural Language.Jon Barwise - 1980 - Linguistics and Philosophy 4:159.
An atmosphere effect in formal syllogistic reasoning.R. S. Woodworth & S. B. Sells - 1935 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 18 (4):451.

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