Is the truth table task mistaken?

Thinking and Reasoning 18 (2):119 - 132 (2012)
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Abstract

There is ample evidence that in classical truth table task experiments false antecedents are judged as ?irrelevant?. Instead of interpreting this in support of a suppositional representation of conditionals, Schroyens (2010a, 2010b) attributes it to the induction problem: the impossibility of establishing the truth of a universal claim on the basis of a single case. In the first experiment a truth table task with four options is administered and the correlation with intelligence is inspected. It is observed that ?undetermined? is chosen in one third of the judgements and ?irrelevant? in another third. A positive correlation is revealed between intelligence and the number of ?irrelevant? and ?undetermined? judgements. The data do not exclude that a part of the ?irrelevant? judgements in classical truth table task experiments might be caused by the induction problem. In the second experiment participants are presented with a simplified four-option truth table task and asked for a justification of their judgements. These justifications show the induction problem is not the reason for choosing the ?irrelevant? or ?undetermined? option, which is supportive for a suppositional representation of conditionals

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