On the generation and evaluation of inferences from single premises.

Ormerod, T. C. and Richardson, J. (2003) On the generation and evaluation of inferences from single premises. Memory and Cognition, 31 (3). pp. 467-478. ISSN 0090-502X

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A theory of how individuals construct mental models to draw inferences from single premises was tested in three experiments. Experiment 1 confirmed a counterintuitive prediction that it is easier to generate inferences between conditionals and disjunctions than it is to evaluate them. Experiment 2 replicated this finding, but an advantage found in the first experiment for conditional-to-disjunction over disjunction-to-conditional inferences was removed with different sentence contents. Experiment 3 showed that disjunction-to-conditional inferences were facilitated when premises expressed familiar indicative relations, whereas conditional-to-disjunction inferences were facilitated when premises expressed causal relations. The results indicate that small changes in task format can have large effects on the strategies that people use to represent and reason about different sentential connectives. We discuss the potential for theories other than mental models to account for these results. We argue that, despite the important role played by single-premise inferences in paraphrasing logical forms during inference, mental logic theories cannot account for the results reported here.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Memory and Cognition
Additional Information:
Ormerod was lead author, holding a Leverhulme Trust Study award grant to develop the work at Princeton. First experiment included in Richardson's PhD, second & third experiments designed, executed and analysed by Ormerod alone to test his theoretical model. Ormerod wrote entire manuscript. RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Psychology
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Deposited On:
07 Mar 2008 16:41
Last Modified:
21 Nov 2022 20:20