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Probabilistic conditional reasoning: Disentangling form and content with the dual-source model

Singmann, H; Klauer, KC; Beller, S; (2016) Probabilistic conditional reasoning: Disentangling form and content with the dual-source model. Cognitive Psychology , 88 pp. 61-87. 10.1016/j.cogpsych.2016.06.005. Green open access

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Abstract

The present research examines descriptive models of probabilistic conditional reasoning, that is of reasoning from uncertain conditionals with contents about which reasoners have rich background knowledge. According to our dual-source model, two types of information shape such reasoning: knowledge-based information elicited by the contents of the material and content-independent information derived from the form of inferences. Two experiments implemented manipulations that selectively influenced the model parameters for the knowledge-based information, the relative weight given to form-based versus knowledge-based information, and the parameters for the form-based information, validating the psychological interpretation of these parameters. We apply the model to classical suppression effects dissecting them into effects on background knowledge and effects on form-based processes (Exp. 3) and we use it to reanalyse previous studies manipulating reasoning instructions. In a model-comparison exercise, based on data of seven studies, the dual-source model outperformed three Bayesian competitor models. Overall, our results support the view that people make use of background knowledge in line with current Bayesian models, but they also suggest that the form of the conditional argument, irrespective of its content, plays a substantive, yet smaller, role.

Type: Article
Title: Probabilistic conditional reasoning: Disentangling form and content with the dual-source model
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cogpsych.2016.06.005
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cogpsych.2016.06.005
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Conditional reasoning, Probabilistic reasoning, Dual-source model, Measurement model, Meta-analysis, VALID INFERENCES, SUPPRESSION
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10107866
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