Some decades ago in his intriguing book on Jonathan Edwards, Perry Miller used to great effect the device of supposing a two-fold biography of Edwards, an external one consisting of the historical record embracing the major events of his life and times, and an internal one aimed at an interpretation of the mind of Edwards and the development of his thought.
A number of theoretical positions in psychology—including variants of case‐based reasoning, instance‐based analogy, and connectionist models—maintain that abstract rules are not involved in human reasoning, or at best play a minor role. Other views hold that the use of abstract rules is a core aspect of human reasoning. We propose eight criteria for determining whether or not people use abstract rules in reasoning, and examine evidence relevant to each criterion for several rule systems. We argue that there is substantial evidence (...) that several different inferential rules, including modus ponens, contractual rules, causal rules, and the law of large numbers, are used in solving everyday problems. We discuss the implications for various theoretical positions and consider hybrid mechanisms that combine aspects of instance and rule models. (shrink)
The authors examined cultural preferences for formal versus intuitive reasoning among East Asian (Chinese and Korean), Asian American, and European American university students. We investigated categorization (Studies 1 and 2), conceptual structure (Study 3), and deductive reasoning (Studies 3 and 4). In each study a cognitive conflict was activated between formal and intuitive strategies of reasoning. European Americans, more than Chinese and Koreans, set aside intuition in favor of formal reasoning. Conversely, Chinese and Koreans relied on intuitive strategies more than (...) European Americans. Asian Americans' reasoning was either identical to that of European Americans, or intermediate. Differences emerged against a background of similar reasoning tendencies across cultures in the absence of conflict between formal and intuitive strategies. (shrink)
We advance a model of human probability judgment and apply it to the design of an extrapolation algorithm. Such an algorithm examines a person's judgment about the likelihood of various statements and is then able to predict the same person's judgments about new statements. The algorithm is tested against judgments produced by thirty undergraduates asked to assign probabilities to statements about mammals.
Establishing reasonable, prior distributions remains a significant obstacle for the construction of probabilistic expert systems. Human assessment of chance is often relied upon for this purpose, but this has the drawback of being inconsistent with axioms of probability. This article advances a method for extracting a coherent distribution of probability from human judgment. The method is based on a psychological model of probabilistic reasoning, followed by a correction phase using linear programming.
Many neuroimaging studies of semantic memory have argued that knowledge of an object's perceptual properties are represented in a modality-specific manner. These studies often base their argument on finding activation in the left-hemisphere fusiform gyrus-a region assumed to be involved in perceptual processing-when the participant is verifying verbal statements about objects and properties. In this paper, we report an extension of one of these influential papers-Kan, Barsalou, Solomon, Minor, and Thompson-Schill (2003 )-and present evidence for an amodal component in the (...) representation and processing of perceptual knowledge. Participants were required to verify object-property statements (e.g., "cat-whiskers?"; "bear-wings?") while they were being scanned by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We replicated Kan et al.'s activation in the left fusiform gyrus, but also found activation in regions of left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and middle-temporal gyrus, areas known to reflect amodal processes or representations. Further, only activations in the left IFG, an amodal area, were correlated with measures of behavioural performance. (shrink)
There is a continuum between prototypical cases of rule use and prototypical cases of similarity use. A prototypical rule: (1) is explicitly represented, (2) can be verbalized, and (3) requires that the user selectively attend to a few features of the object, while ignoring the others. Prototypical similarity-use requires that: (1) the user should match the object to a mental representation holistically, and (2) there should be no selective attention or inhibition. Neural evidence supports prototypical rule-use. Most models of categorization (...) fall between the two prototypes. (shrink)