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Title:Reconnecting interpretation to reasoning through individual differences
Authors: Keith Stenning ; Richard Cox
Date: 2006
Publication Title:Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology (Human Experimental Psychology)
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Publication Type:Journal Article Publication Status:Unknown
Volume No:59
Computational theories of mind assume that subjects interpret information, and then reason from those interpretations. Research on interpretation in deductive reasoning has claimed to show that subjects' interpretation of single syllogistic premises in an `immediate inference' task is radically different from their interpretation of pairs of the same premises in syllogistic reasoning tasks (Newstead 1989: 1995; Roberts, Newstead & Griggs 2001). Narrow appeal to particular Gricean implicatures in this work fails to bridge the gap. Grice's theory taken as a broad framework for credulous discourse processing in which subjects construct speaker's `intended models' of discourses can reconcile these results, purchasing continuity of interpretation through variety of logical treatments. We present exploratory experimental data on immediate inference and subsequent syllogistic reasoning. Systematic patterns of interpretation driven by two factors (whether the subject's model of the discourse is credulous, and their degree of reliance on information packaging) are shown to transcend particular quantifier inferences and to drive systematic differences in subjects' subsequent syllogistic reasoning. We conclude that most subjects do not understand deductive tasks as experimenters intend, and just as there is no single logical model of reasoning, so there is no reason to expect a single `fundamental human reasoning mechanism'.
Psychology Press
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Bibtex format
author = { Keith Stenning and Richard Cox },
title = {Reconnecting interpretation to reasoning through individual differences},
journal = {Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology (Human Experimental Psychology)},
publisher = {Taylor & Francis},
year = 2006,
volume = {59},
doi = {10.1080/17470210500198759},

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