Cognition 31 (2):117-140 (1989)

Alan Garnham
University of Sussex
In this paper we investigate the locus of believability effects in syllogistic reasoning. We identify three points in the reasoning process at which such effects could occur: the initial interpretation of premises, the examination of alternative representations of them (in all of which any valid conclusion must be true), and the “filtering” of putative conclusions. The effect of beliefs at the first of these loci is well established. In this paper we report three experiments that examine whether beliefs have an effect at the other two loci. In experiments 1 and 2 subjects drew their own conclusions from syllogisms that suggested believable or unbelievable ones. In the third experiment they evaluated conclusions that were presented to them. The data show that beliefs both affect the examination of alternative models and act as a filter on putative conclusions. We conclude by showing how some types of problem and some problem contents make the existence of alternative models more obvious than others.
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DOI 10.1016/0010-0277(89)90020-6
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References found in this work BETA

Cognitive Processes in Propositional Reasoning.Lance J. Rips - 1983 - Psychological Review 90 (1):38-71.

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Is Logicist Cognitive Science Possible?Alan Garnham - 1993 - Mind and Language 8 (1):49-71.

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