Laypeople’s Evaluation of Arguments: Are Criteria for Argument Quality Scheme-Specific?

Argumentation 31 (4):681-703 (2017)
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Can argumentation schemes play a part in the critical processing of argumentation by lay people? In a qualitative study, participants were invited to come up with strong and weak arguments for a given claim and were subsequently interviewed for why they thought the strong argument was stronger than the weak one. Next, they were presented with a list of arguments and asked to rank these arguments from strongest to weakest, upon which they were asked to motivate their judgments in an interview. In order to assess whether lay people apply argument scheme specific criteria when performing these tasks, five different argumentation schemes were included in this study: argumentation from authority, from example, from analogy, from cause to effect, and from consequences. Laypeople’s use of criteria for argument quality was inferred from interview protocols. The results revealed that participants combined general criteria from informal logic and scheme-specific criteria. The results supported the conventional validity of the pragma-dialectical argument scheme rule in a strong sense and provided a more fine-grained view of central processing in the Elaboration Likelihood Model.



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References found in this work

Argumentation schemes.Douglas Walton, Chris Reed & Fabrizio Macagno - 2008 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Chris Reed & Fabrizio Macagno.
Argumentation Schemes.Douglas Walton, Christopher Reed & Fabrizio Macagno - 2008 - Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Chris Reed & Fabrizio Macagno.
A practical study of argument.Trudy Govier - 1991 - Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth Pub. Co..
Argumentation schemes for presumptive reasoning.Douglas N. Walton - 1996 - Mahwah, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates.
Logical Self-Defense.Ralph Henry Johnson & J. Anthony Blair - 1977 - Toronto, Canada: Mcgraw-Hill.

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