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Two principles of premise integration in spatial reasoning


Hörnig, Robin; Oberauer, Klaus; Weidenfeld, Andrea (2005). Two principles of premise integration in spatial reasoning. Memory & Cognition, 33(1):131-139.

Abstract

We propose two principles that facilitate integration of two relational premises in spatial reasoning. Integration is easier if the anaphor in the second premise, P2, bears the role of the relatum (relatum = given). Moreover, integration is easier if, in P2, the anaphor is mentioned before the new element (given-new). In premises with canonical word order (grammatical subjects mentioned first), these principles always conflict with one another. In topicalized statements mentioning the prepositional phrase first, the two principles work in tandem. By varying word order, we tested the two principles by measuring P2 comprehension times. Comprehension times indicated that integration was easiest when P2 obeyed both principles and most difficult when both principles were violated. Canonical premises were of intermediate difficulty. This pattern emerged regardless of whether the anaphor was a definite description or a pronoun.

Abstract

We propose two principles that facilitate integration of two relational premises in spatial reasoning. Integration is easier if the anaphor in the second premise, P2, bears the role of the relatum (relatum = given). Moreover, integration is easier if, in P2, the anaphor is mentioned before the new element (given-new). In premises with canonical word order (grammatical subjects mentioned first), these principles always conflict with one another. In topicalized statements mentioning the prepositional phrase first, the two principles work in tandem. By varying word order, we tested the two principles by measuring P2 comprehension times. Comprehension times indicated that integration was easiest when P2 obeyed both principles and most difficult when both principles were violated. Canonical premises were of intermediate difficulty. This pattern emerged regardless of whether the anaphor was a definite description or a pronoun.

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11 citations in Web of Science®
16 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:2005
Deposited On:08 Jul 2014 13:23
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:57
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0090-502X
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03195303
PubMed ID:15915799

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