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The relevance effect and conditionals


Skovgaard-Olsen, Niels; Singmann, Henrik; Klauer, Karl Christoph (2016). The relevance effect and conditionals. Cognition, 150:26-36.

Abstract

More than a decade of research has found strong evidence for P(if A, then C)=P(C|A) ("the Equation"). We argue, however, that this hypothesis provides an overly simplified picture due to its inability to account for relevance. We manipulated relevance in the evaluation of the probability and acceptability of indicative conditionals and found that relevance moderates the effect of P(C|A). This corroborates the Default and Penalty Hypothesis put forward in this paper. Finally, the probability and acceptability of concessive conditionals ("Even if A, then still C") were investigated and it was found that the Equation provides a better account of concessive conditionals than of indicatives across relevance manipulations.

Abstract

More than a decade of research has found strong evidence for P(if A, then C)=P(C|A) ("the Equation"). We argue, however, that this hypothesis provides an overly simplified picture due to its inability to account for relevance. We manipulated relevance in the evaluation of the probability and acceptability of indicative conditionals and found that relevance moderates the effect of P(C|A). This corroborates the Default and Penalty Hypothesis put forward in this paper. Finally, the probability and acceptability of concessive conditionals ("Even if A, then still C") were investigated and it was found that the Equation provides a better account of concessive conditionals than of indicatives across relevance manipulations.

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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
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Language and Linguistics
Social Sciences & Humanities > Developmental and Educational Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Linguistics and Language
Life Sciences > Cognitive Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:May 2016
Deposited On:06 Sep 2016 13:43
Last Modified:15 May 2024 01:47
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0010-0277
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2015.12.017
PubMed ID:26848733
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