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Effects of belief and logic on syllogistic reasoning: Eye-movement evidence for selective processing models.

Ball, L. J. and Phillips, P. and Quayle, J. D. and Wade, C. N. (2006) Effects of belief and logic on syllogistic reasoning: Eye-movement evidence for selective processing models. Experimental Psychology, 53 (1). pp. 77-86.

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Abstract

Studies of syllogistic reasoning have demonstrated a nonlogical tendency for people to endorse more believable conclusions than unbelievable ones. This belief bias effect is more dominant on invalid syllogisms than valid ones, giving rise to a logic by belief interaction. We report an experiment in which participants’ eye movements were recorded in order to provide insights into the nature and time course of the reasoning processes associated with manipulations of conclusion validity and believability. Our main dependent measure was people’s inspection times for syllogistic premises, and we tested predictions deriving from three contemporary mental-models accounts of the logic by belief interaction. Results supported recent “selective processing” theories of belief bias (e.g., Evans, 2000; Klauer, Musch, & Naumer, 2000), which assume that the believability of a conclusion biases model construction processes, rather than biasing the search for falsifying models (e.g., Oakhill & Johnson-Laird, 1985) or a response stage of reasoning arising from subjective uncertainty (e.g., Quayle & Ball, 2000). We conclude by suggesting that the eye-movement analyses in reasoning research may provide a useful adjunct to other process-tracing techniques such as verbal protocol analysis.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Experimental Psychology
Additional Information: Ball was first and lead author on national collaboration. He designed experiment, analyzed data and wrote manuscript. RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: belief bias ; syllogistic reasoning ; eye-movement analysis ; inspection times ; process tracing
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Psychology
Faculty of Science and Technology > School of Computing & Communications
ID Code: 12762
Deposited By: ep_importer_comp
Deposited On: 07 Jul 2011 16:00
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 15:15
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/12762

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