THOG: The anatomy of a problem
ABSTRACT Three experiments are reported on the attempts to solve a novel hypothetico-deductive problem. Its solution demands both the postulation of hypotheses about its structure and a combinatorial analysis upon the consequences of these hypotheses. The majority of subjects (students) failed to solve the problem because they argued from the properties of stimuli rather than from hypotheses about their conceptual status. The results suggest that a familiarity with the logical structure of the problem and the elicitation of appropriate hypotheses failed to correct this intuitive approach. These findings are discussed in relation to Piaget's theory of formal operations, and (very tentatively) in relation to habitual styles of thought.
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ABSTRACT: We present a suppositional theory of disjunctive reasoning that proposes that 'either-or', like 'if', triggers hypothetical thinking. However, disjunctions are more complex as they require the reasoner to consider two hypotheses, violating the singularity principle. Hence one of the disjuncts becomes focal – the first one in the absence of conversational cues. As predicted, participants presented with disjunctive statements and asked to fill in a 6x6 grid with verifying combinations, tended to overrepresent TF cases. The results are discussed in terms of dual processing theories of reasoning and decision making.
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ABSTRACT: Normative theories can be useful in developing descriptive theories, as when normative subjective expected utility theory is used to develop descriptive rational choice theory and behavioral game theory. "Ought" questions are also the essence of theories of moral reasoning, a domain of higher mental processing that could not survive without normative considerations.Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10/2011; 34(5):256-7. DOI:10.1017/S0140525X11000495 · 14.96 Impact Factor
Article: A role for normativism[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Elqayam & Evans (E&E) argue against prescriptive normativism and in favor of descriptivism. I challenge the assumption, implicit in their article, that there is a choice to be made between the two approaches. While descriptivism may be the right approach for some questions, others call for a normativist approach. To illustrate the point, I briefly discuss two questions of the latter sort.Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10/2011; 34(5):252-3. DOI:10.1017/S0140525X11000471 · 14.96 Impact Factor