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Between reasoning


Hörnig, Robin; Oberauer, Klaus; Weidenfeld, Andrea (2006). Between reasoning. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59(10):1805-1825.

Abstract

In two experiments we investigated three-term reasoning with spatial relational assertions using the preposition between as compared to projective prepositions (such as to the left of). For each kind of assertion we distinguish the referent expression (i.e., the grammatical subject) from the relatum expression (i.e., the internal argument of the preposition; e.g., [The hedgehog]referent_expression is to the left of [the frog]relatum_expression; [the snake]referent_expression is between [the donkey and the deer]relatum_expression). Previous research has shown that integrating premises with projective prepositions is easier (a) when the relatum expression of the second premise denotes an element already given by the first premise (relatum = given), and (b) when the term denoting a given element precedes the term denoting a new element (given–new). Experiment 1 extended this finding to second premises with the preposition between. In Experiment 2, between figured in the first premise. In this case, participants built an initial preferred model already from the first premise, although such a premise is indeterminate with respect to the array that it describes. Since there is no need left for integrating the second premise, this premise is instead used to verify the initial model and to modify it when necessary. A further investigation of conclusion evaluation times showed that conclusions were evaluated faster when they first mentioned the element that was included most recently into the mental model of the premises. The use of premises with between permitted the separation of recency of model inclusion from recency of appearance of an element in a premise

Abstract

In two experiments we investigated three-term reasoning with spatial relational assertions using the preposition between as compared to projective prepositions (such as to the left of). For each kind of assertion we distinguish the referent expression (i.e., the grammatical subject) from the relatum expression (i.e., the internal argument of the preposition; e.g., [The hedgehog]referent_expression is to the left of [the frog]relatum_expression; [the snake]referent_expression is between [the donkey and the deer]relatum_expression). Previous research has shown that integrating premises with projective prepositions is easier (a) when the relatum expression of the second premise denotes an element already given by the first premise (relatum = given), and (b) when the term denoting a given element precedes the term denoting a new element (given–new). Experiment 1 extended this finding to second premises with the preposition between. In Experiment 2, between figured in the first premise. In this case, participants built an initial preferred model already from the first premise, although such a premise is indeterminate with respect to the array that it describes. Since there is no need left for integrating the second premise, this premise is instead used to verify the initial model and to modify it when necessary. A further investigation of conclusion evaluation times showed that conclusions were evaluated faster when they first mentioned the element that was included most recently into the mental model of the premises. The use of premises with between permitted the separation of recency of model inclusion from recency of appearance of an element in a premise

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5 citations in Web of Science®
6 citations in Scopus®
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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:2006
Deposited On:08 Jul 2014 12:33
Last Modified:26 Aug 2016 09:57
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1747-0218
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/17470210500416151

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