Real Objects Can Impede Conditional Reasoning but Augmented Objects Do Not

Cognitive Science 42 (2):691-707 (2018)


In this study, Knauff and Johnson-Laird's visual impedance hypothesis is applied to the domain of external representations and diagrammatic reasoning. We show that the use of real objects and augmented real objects can control human interpretation and reasoning about conditionals. As participants made inferences, they also moved objects corresponding to premises. Participants who moved real objects made more invalid inferences than those who moved AR objects and those who did not manipulate objects. Our results showed that real objects impeded conditional reasoning, but AR objects did not. These findings are explained by the fact that real objects may over-specify a single state that exists, while AR objects suggest multiple possibilities.

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