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Effects of directionality in deductive reasoning: II. Premise integration and conclusion evaluation


Oberauer, Klaus; Hörnig, R; Weidenfeld, Andrea; Wilhelm, Oliver (2005). Effects of directionality in deductive reasoning: II. Premise integration and conclusion evaluation. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. Section A: Human Experimental Psychology, 58(7):1225-1247.

Abstract

Previous research (Oberauer & Wilhelm, 2000) has shown an inherent directionality between the two terms linked in premises of typical deductive reasoning tasks. With three experiments we investigated the effect of inherent directionality on the time to integrate two premises and for the derivation of a conclusion. We varied figure (i.e., order of terms in the premises) and direction of inference (i.e., order of terms in the conclusion) in deduction tasks from various domains (propositional reasoning, syllogisms, spatial, temporal, and linear order reasoning). Effects of figure on premise reading times varied with the directionality of the relations. Effects of direction of inference reflected the same directionality for a subset of relations. We propose that two factors are jointly responsible for a large part of observed directionality effects in premise integration: the inherent directionality of relational statements and a general advantage for a given-new order of terms in the second premise. Difficulty of deriving a conclusion is affected by the directionality or relations if and only if the relation is semantically asymmetric, so that the directionality must be preserved in the integrated mental model.

Abstract

Previous research (Oberauer & Wilhelm, 2000) has shown an inherent directionality between the two terms linked in premises of typical deductive reasoning tasks. With three experiments we investigated the effect of inherent directionality on the time to integrate two premises and for the derivation of a conclusion. We varied figure (i.e., order of terms in the premises) and direction of inference (i.e., order of terms in the conclusion) in deduction tasks from various domains (propositional reasoning, syllogisms, spatial, temporal, and linear order reasoning). Effects of figure on premise reading times varied with the directionality of the relations. Effects of direction of inference reflected the same directionality for a subset of relations. We propose that two factors are jointly responsible for a large part of observed directionality effects in premise integration: the inherent directionality of relational statements and a general advantage for a given-new order of terms in the second premise. Difficulty of deriving a conclusion is affected by the directionality or relations if and only if the relation is semantically asymmetric, so that the directionality must be preserved in the integrated mental model.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2005
Deposited On:08 Jul 2014 13:21
Last Modified:24 Mar 2017 11:17
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0272-4987
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/02724980443000566
PubMed ID:10.1080/02724980443000566

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