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Ruth M. J. Byrne [32]Ruth Mj Byrne [8]Ruth M. Byrne [2]Ruth Byrne [2]
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Ruth Mary Josephine Byrne
Trinity College, Dublin
  1.  28
    Deduction.Philip Nicholas Johnson-Laird & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 1991 - Psychology Press.
    In this study on deduction, the authors argue that people reason by imagining the relevant state of affairs, ie building an internal model of it, formulating a tentative conclusion based on this model and then searching for alternative models.
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  2. The Rational Imagination: How People Create Alternatives to Reality.Ruth M. J. Byrne - 2005 - MIT Press.
    A leading scholar in the psychology of thinking and reasoning argues that the counterfactual imagination—the creation of "if only" alternatives to ...
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  3.  52
    Conditionals: A theory of meaning, pragmatics, and inference.Philip Johnson-Laird & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 2002 - Psychological Review 109 (4):646-678.
    The authors outline a theory of conditionals of the form If A then C and If A then possibly C. The 2 sorts of conditional have separate core meanings that refer to sets of possibilities. Knowledge, pragmatics, and semantics can modulate these meanings. Modulation can add information about temporal and other relations between antecedent and consequent. It can also prevent the construction of possibilities to yield 10 distinct sets of possibilities to which conditionals can refer. The mental representation of a (...)
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  4.  47
    Suppressing valid inferences with conditionals.Ruth M. J. Byrne - 1989 - Cognition 31 (1):61-83.
    Three experiments are reported which show that in certain contexts subjects reject instances of the valid modus ponens and modus tollens inference form in conditional arguments. For example, when a conditional premise, such as: If she meets her friend then she will go to a play, is accompanied by a conditional containing an additional requirement: If she has enough money then she will go to a play, subjects reject the inference from the categorical premise: She meets her friend, to the (...)
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  5.  20
    Propositional reasoning by model.Philip N. Johnson-Laird, Ruth M. Byrne & Walter Schaeken - 1992 - Psychological Review 99 (3):418-439.
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  6.  36
    Facts and Possibilities: A Model‐Based Theory of Sentential Reasoning.Sangeet S. Khemlani, Ruth M. J. Byrne & Philip N. Johnson-Laird - 2018 - Cognitive Science 42 (6):1887-1924.
    This article presents a fundamental advance in the theory of mental models as an explanation of reasoning about facts, possibilities, and probabilities. It postulates that the meanings of compound assertions, such as conditionals (if) and disjunctions (or), unlike those in logic, refer to conjunctions of epistemic possibilities that hold in default of information to the contrary. Various factors such as general knowledge can modulate these interpretations. New information can always override sentential inferences; that is, reasoning in daily life is defeasible (...)
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  7.  13
    Reasoning by model: The case of multiple quantification.P. N. Johnson-Laird, Ruth M. J. Byrne & Patrizia Tabossi - 1989 - Psychological Review 96 (4):658-673.
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  8.  34
    Can valid inferences be suppressed?Ruth M. J. Byrne - 1991 - Cognition 39 (1):71-78.
  9.  38
    Meta-logical problems: Knights, knaves, and rips.P. N. Johnson-Laird & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 1990 - Cognition 36 (1):69-84.
  10.  29
    Modal reasoning, models, and Manktelow and Over.Philip N. Johnson-Laird & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 1992 - Cognition 43 (2):173-182.
  11.  25
    In defense of reasoning: A reply to Greene (1992).P. N. Johnson-Laird, Ruth M. Byrne & Patrizia Tabossi - 1992 - Psychological Review 99 (1):188-190.
  12.  25
    Why models rather than rules give a better account of propositional reasoning: A reply to Bonatti and to O'Brien, Braine, and Yang.P. N. Johnson-Laird, Ruth M. J. Byrne & Walter Schaeken - 1994 - Psychological Review 101 (4):734-739.
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  13.  27
    Thinking About the Opposite of What Is Said: Counterfactual Conditionals and Symbolic or Alternate Simulations of Negation.Orlando Espino & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 2018 - Cognitive Science 42 (8):2459-2501.
    When people understand a counterfactual such as “if the flowers had been roses, the trees would have been orange trees,” they think about the conjecture, “there were roses and orange trees,” and they also think about its opposite, the presupposed facts. We test whether people think about the opposite by representing alternates, for example, “poppies and apple trees,” or whether models can contain symbols, for example, “no roses and no orange trees.” We report the discovery of an inference‐to‐alternates effect—a tendency (...)
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  14.  15
    Reasoning from Suppositions.Ruth M. J. Byrne, Simon J. Handley & Philip N. Johnson-Laird - 1995 - Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A 48 (4):915-944.
    Two experiments investigated inferences based on suppositions. In Experiment 1, the subjects decided whether suppositions about individuals' veracity were consistent with their assertions—for example, whether the supposition “Ann is telling the truth and Beth is telling a lie”, is consistent with the premises: “Ann asserts: I am telling the truth and Beth is telling the truth. Beth asserts: Ann is telling the truth”. It showed that these inferences are more difficult than ones based on factual premises: “Ann asserts: I live (...)
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  15.  68
    Precis of the rational imagination: How people create alternatives to reality.Ruth Mj Byrne - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5):439-452.
    The human imagination remains one of the last uncharted terrains of the mind. People often imagine how events might have turned out something had been different. The of reality, those aspects more readily changed, indicate that counterfactual thoughts are guided by the same principles as rational thoughts. In the past, rationality and imagination have been viewed as opposites. But research has shown that rational thought is more imaginative than cognitive scientists had supposed. In The Rational Imagination, I argue that imaginative (...)
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  16.  64
    Spontaneous counterfactual thoughts and causal explanations.Alice McEleney & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 2006 - Thinking and Reasoning 12 (2):235 – 255.
    We report two Experiments to compare counterfactual thoughts about how an outcome could have been different and causal explanations about why the outcome occurred. Experiment 1 showed that people generate counterfactual thoughts more often about controllable than uncontrollable events, whereas they generate causal explanations more often about unexpected than expected events. Counterfactual thoughts focus on specific factors, whereas causal explanations focus on both general and specific factors. Experiment 2 showed that in their spontaneous counterfactual thoughts, people focus on normal events (...)
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  17.  69
    Counterfactual thoughts about experienced, observed, and narrated events.Stefania Pighin, Ruth M. J. Byrne, Donatella Ferrante, Michel Gonzalez & Vittorio Girotto - 2011 - Thinking and Reasoning 17 (2):197 - 211.
    Four studies show that observers and readers imagine different alternatives to reality. When participants read a story about a protagonist who chose the more difficult of two tasks and failed, their counterfactual thoughts focused on the easier, unchosen task. But when they observed the performance of an individual who chose and failed the more difficult task, participants' counterfactual thoughts focused on alternative ways to solve the chosen task, as did the thoughts of individuals who acted out the event. We conclude (...)
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  18.  42
    How people think “if only …” about reasons for actions.Clare R. Walsh & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 2007 - Thinking and Reasoning 13 (4):461 – 483.
    When people think about how a situation might have turned out differently, they tend to imagine counterfactual alternatives to their actions. We report the results of three experiments which show that people imagine alternatives to actions differently when they know about a reason for the action. The first experiment ( n = 36) compared reason - action sequences to cause - effect sequences. It showed that people do not imagine alternatives to reasons in the way they imagine alternatives to causes: (...)
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  19.  30
    Moral hindsight for good actions and the effects of imagined alternatives to reality.Ruth M. J. Byrne & Shane Timmons - 2018 - Cognition 178 (C):82-91.
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  20.  18
    The Suppression of Inferences From Counterfactual Conditionals.Orlando Espino & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 2020 - Cognitive Science 44 (4):e12827.
    We examine two competing effects of beliefs on conditional inferences. The suppression effect occurs for conditionals, for example, “if she watered the plants they bloomed,” when beliefs about additional background conditions, for example, “if the sun shone they bloomed” decrease the frequency of inferences such as modus tollens (from “the plants did not bloom” to “therefore she did not water them”). In contrast, the counterfactual elevation effect occurs for counterfactual conditionals, for example, “if she had watered the plants they would (...)
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  21.  42
    Dual processes of emotion and reason in judgments about moral dilemmas.Eoin Gubbins & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 2014 - Thinking and Reasoning 20 (2):245-268.
    We report the results of two experiments that show that participants rely on both emotion and reason in moral judgments. Experiment 1 showed that when participants were primed to communicate feelings, they provided emotive justifications not only for personal dilemmas, e.g., pushing a man from a bridge that will result in his death but save the lives of five others, but also for impersonal dilemmas, e.g., hitting a switch on a runaway train that will result in the death of one (...)
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  22. Semifactual ''even if'' thinking.Rachel McCloy & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 2002 - Thinking and Reasoning 8 (1):41 – 67.
    Semifactual thinking about what might have been the same, e.g., ''even if Philip had not chosen the chocolate ice-cream sundae, he would have developed an allergic reaction'' has been neglected compared to counterfactual thinking about what might have been different, e.g., ''if only Philip had not chosen the chocolate ice-cream sundae, he would not have developed an allergic reaction''. We report the first systematic comparison of the two sorts of thinking in two experiments. The first experiment showed that counterfactual ''if (...)
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  23.  12
    “If only” counterfactual thoughts about cooperative and uncooperative decisions in social dilemmas.Stefania Pighin, Ruth M. J. Byrne & Katya Tentori - 2022 - Thinking and Reasoning 28 (2):193-225.
    We examined how people think about how things could have turned out differently after they made a decision to cooperate or not in three social interactions: the Prisoner’s dilemma (Experiment 1), the Stag Hunt dilemma (Experiment 2), and the Chicken game (Experiment 3). We found that participants who took part in the game imagined the outcome would have been different if a different decision had been made by the other player, not themselves; they did so whether the outcome was good (...)
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  24.  62
    Précis of Deduction.Philip N. Johnson-Laird & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 1993 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (2):323-333.
    How do people make deductions? The orthodox view in psychology is that they use formal rules of inference like those of a “natural deduction” system.Deductionargues that their logical competence depends, not on formal rules, but on mental models. They construct models of the situation described by the premises, using their linguistic knowledge and their general knowledge. They try to formulate a conclusion based on these models that maintains semantic information, that expresses it parsimoniously, and that makes explicit something not directly (...)
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  25.  31
    Counterfactual and semi-factual thoughts in moral judgements about failed attempts to harm.Mary Parkinson & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 2017 - Thinking and Reasoning 23 (4):409-448.
    People judge that an individual who attempts to harm someone but fails should be blamed and punished more when they imagine how things could have turned out worse, compared to when they imagine how things could have turned out the same, or when they think only about what happened. This moral counterfactual amplification effect occurs when people believe the protagonist had no reason for the attempt to harm, and not when the protagonist had a reason, as Experiment 1 shows. It (...)
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  26.  21
    Conditionals and possibilities.Ruth Mj Byrne, Philip N. Johnson-Laird, M. Oaksford & N. Chater - 2010 - In M. Oaksford & N. Chater (eds.), Cognition and Conditionals: Probability and Logic in Human Thought. Oxford University Press.
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  27.  41
    A model point of view.P. N. Johnson-Laird & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 1995 - Thinking and Reasoning 1 (4):339 – 350.
  28. Reasoning with deontic and counterfactual conditionals.Ana Cristina Quelhas & Ruth Byrne - 2003 - Thinking and Reasoning 9 (1):43 – 65.
    We report two new phenomena of deontic reasoning: (1) For conditionals with deontic content such as, "If the nurse cleaned up the blood then she must have worn rubber gloves", reasoners make more modus tollens inferences (from "she did not wear rubber gloves" to "she did not clean up the blood") compared to conditionals with epistemic content. (2) For conditionals in the subjunctive mood with deontic content, such as, "If the nurse had cleaned up the blood then she must have (...)
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  29.  30
    Mental models or formal rules?Philip N. Johnson-Laird & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 1993 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (2):368-380.
  30.  60
    Models rule, OK? A reply to Fetzer.P. N. Johnson-Laird & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 1999 - Minds and Machines 9 (1):111-118.
  31.  19
    Models, necessity, and the search for counterexamples.P. N. Johnson-Laird & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 1994 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 17 (4):775-777.
  32.  21
    The Comprehension of Counterfactual Conditionals: Evidence From Eye-Tracking in the Visual World Paradigm.Isabel Orenes, Juan A. García-Madruga, Isabel Gómez-Veiga, Orlando Espino & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
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  33. Counterfactual reasoning: Inferences from hypothetical conditionals.Ruth Mj Byrne & Alessandra Tasso - 1994 - In Ashwin Ram & Kurt Eiselt (eds.), Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Erlbaum.
     
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  34.  11
    Inferences from disclosures about the truth and falsity of expert testimony.Sergio Moreno-Ríos & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 2018 - Thinking and Reasoning 24 (1):41-78.
    Participants acting as mock jurors made inferences about whether a person was a suspect in a murder based on an expert's testimony about the presence of objects at the crime scene and the disclosure that the testimony was true or false. Experiment 1 showed that participants made more correct inferences, and made inferences more quickly, when the truth or falsity of the expert's testimony was disclosed immediately after the testimony rather than when the disclosure was delayed. Experiment 2 showed no (...)
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  35.  24
    Mental models and syllogisms.P. N. Johnson-Laird & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (3):543-546.
    We resolve the two problems that Hardman raises. The first problem arises from a misunderstanding: the crucial distinction is between one-model and multiple-model problems. The second problem illuminates a deeper principle: conclusions depend on the procedures for interpreting models. We describe an algorithm that obviates the problem and empirical work that reveals a new view of syllogistic reasoning.
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  36. Imagination is only as rational as the purpose to which it is put.Andrew Shtulman & Ruth Mj Byrne - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5):465-465.
    Byrne's criteria for considering imagination rational do not accord with standard notions of rationality. A different criterion is offered and illustrated with recent work on possibility judgment. This analysis suggests that, although imagination can be put to rational purposes, imagination itself should not be considered rational.
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  37. Each year Cognition is obliged to request the help of a certain number of guest reviewers who assist in the assessment of manuscripts. Without their cooperation the journal would not be able to maintain its high standards. We are happy to be able to thank the following people for their help in refereeing manuscripts during 1991.Terry Kit-Fong Au, William Badecker, Irving Biderman, Manfred Bierwisch, Paul Bloom, Mark Bornstein, Brian Byrne, Ruth Byrne, Patricia Cheng & Herbert H. Clark - 1992 - Cognition 43:195.
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  38. Ex 0.Paul Bertelson, Ruth M. J. Byrne, Stanislas Dehaene, Ruma Falk, Gerd Gigerenzer, Klaus Hug, Phillip N. Johnson-Laird, Susan Jones, Peter W. Jusczyk & Barbara Landau - 1992 - Cognition 43:2.
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  39.  27
    Mental models and pragmatics.P. N. Johnson-Laird & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (2):284-285.
    Van der Henst argues that the theory of mental models lacks a pragmatic component. He fills the gap with the notion that reasoners draw the most relevant conclusions. We agree, but argue that theories need an element of “nondeterminism.” It is often impossible to predict either what will be most relevant or which particular conclusion an individual will draw.
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  40.  4
    Thoughts about Exceptional Events.Ruth Mj Byrne - 2011 - In Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack & Sarah R. Beck (eds.), Understanding Counterfactuals, Understanding Causation. Oxford University Press.
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  41.  26
    The rational imagination and other possibilities.Ruth Mj Byrne - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5-6):470-476.
    In this response I discuss some of the key issues raised by the commentators on The Rational Imagination. I consider whether the imaginative creation of alternatives to reality is rational or irrational, and what happens in childhood cognition to enable a rational imagination to develop. I outline how thoughts about causality, counterfactuality, and controllability are intertwined and why some sorts of possibilities are more readily imagined than others. I conclude with a consideration of what the counterfactual imagination is for.
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  42.  25
    The goals of counterfactual possibilities.Paolo Legrenzi & Ruth Mj Byrne - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5):459-459.
    Why do humans imagine alternatives to reality? The experiments conducted by Byrne explain the mental mechanisms we use when we do just this – that is, imagine one, or more, alternative reality. But why do we do this? The general reason is to give ourselves an explanation of the world, to tell stories; at times to console ourselves, and at times to despair. A good story is not only based on a description of what happened, but also hints at, or (...)
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  43.  13
    The mental representation of what might have been.Clare R. Walsh & Ruth Mj Byrne - 2005 - In David R. Mandel, Denis J. Hilton & Patrizia Catellani (eds.), The Psychology of Counterfactual Thinking. Routledge.
  44. The Mental Model Theory of Conditionals: A Reply to Guy Politzer. [REVIEW]Philip N. Johnson-Laird, Ruth M. J. Byrne & Vittorio Girotto - 2009 - Topoi 28 (1):75-80.
    This paper replies to Politzer’s (2007) criticisms of the mental model theory of conditionals. It argues that the theory provides a correct account of negation of conditionals, that it does not provide a truth-functional account of their meaning, though it predicts that certain interpretations of conditionals yield acceptable versions of the ‘paradoxes’ of material implication, and that it postulates three main strategies for estimating the probabilities of conditionals.
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