The Probability of Iterated Conditionals

Cognitive Science 39 (4):788-803 (2015)
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Iterated conditionals of the form If p, then if q, r are an important topic in philosophical logic. In recent years, psychologists have gained much knowledge about how people understand simple conditionals, but there are virtually no published psychological studies of iterated conditionals. This paper presents experimental evidence from a study comparing the iterated form, If p, then if q, r with the “imported,” noniterated form, If p and q, then r, using a probability evaluation task and a truth-table task, and taking into account qualitative individual differences. This allows us to critically contrast philosophical and psychological approaches that make diverging predictions regarding the interpretation of these forms. The results strongly support the probabilistic Adams conditional and the “new paradigm” that takes this conditional as a starting point



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