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Exploring the determinants of dual goal facilitation in a rule discovery task

Gale, Maggie and Ball, Linden J. (2009) Exploring the determinants of dual goal facilitation in a rule discovery task. Thinking & Reasoning, 15 (3). pp. 294-315. ISSN 1354-6783

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Abstract

Wason's standard 2-4-6 task requires discovery of a single rule and leads to around 20% solutions, whereas the dual goal (DG) version requires discovery of two rules and elevates solutions to over 60%. We report an experiment that aimed to discriminate between competing accounts of DG facilitation by manipulating the degree of complementarity between the to-be-discovered rules. Results indicated that perfect rule complementarity is not essential for task success, thereby undermining a key tenet of the goal complementarity account of DG facilitation. The triple heterogeneity account received a good degree of support since more varied triple exploration was associated with facilitatory DG conditions, in line with this account's prediction that task success is associated with the creative search of the problem space. The contrast class account (an extension of Oaksford & Chater's, 1994, iterative counterfactual model) was also corroborated in that the generation of descending triples was demonstrated to be the dominant predictor of DG success. We focus our discussion on conceptual ideas relating to the way in which iterative counterfactual testing and contrast class identification may work together to provide a powerful basis for effective hypothesis testing.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Thinking & Reasoning
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2-4-6 task ; Contrast class account ; Dual goal facilitation ; Hypothesis testing ; Rule discovery ; WASONS 2-4-6 TASK ; CONCEPTUAL TASK ; HYPOTHESES ; DISCONFIRMATION ; INFORMATION ; REPRESENTATION ; STRATEGIES
Subjects:
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Psychology
ID Code: 52051
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 16 Dec 2011 11:25
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2013 10:34
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/52051

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