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Human reasoning: Deduction rules or mental models, or both?

Roberts, MJ (1993) 'Human reasoning: Deduction rules or mental models, or both?' The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A, 46 (4). pp. 569-589. ISSN 0272-4987

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A good deal of energy is currently being expended into discovering the fundamental machinery underlying deductive reasoning. Is it based upon mental models (arrays) or deduction rules (propositions)? The appeal of finding a ?grand unified theory? of reasoning is obvious, but the likelihood of achieving this must also be considered. This paper discusses the use of experimental psychology in attempts to discover the processes associated with the fundamental reasoning mechanism. One particular problem is that individuals can use different strategies to solve reasoning problems. The consequences of this are assessed in relation to: (1) the assumptions underlying the experiments, (2) the choice of tasks and task presentations intended to enable the fundamental reasoning processes to be viewed directly, and (3) the power status of the theories and the nature of the evidence required to show that either theory is superior. Under close scrutiny the debate appears to be unresolvable by using empirical techniques. However, although the main conclusions are negative, it is suggested that approaches that directly investigate individual differences are likely to be useful alternatives.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2015 14:46
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:30

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