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Use or misuse of the selection task? Rejoinder to Fiddick, Cosmides and Tooby

Abstract : Sperber, Cara, and Girotto (1995) argued that, in Wason's selection task, relevance-guided comprehension processes tend to determine participants' performance and pre-empt the use of other inferential capacities. Because of this, the value of the selection task as a tool for studying human inference has been grossly overestimated. Fiddick, Cosmides, and Tooby (2000) argued against Sperber et al. that specialized inferential mechanisms, in particular the “social contract algorithm” hypothesized by Cosmides (1989), pre-empt more general comprehension abilities, making the selection task a useful tool after all. We rebut this argument. We argue and illustrate with two new experiments, that Fiddick et al. mix the true Wason selection task with a trivially simple categorization task superficially similar to the Wason task, yielding methodologically flawed evidence. We conclude that the extensive use of various kinds of selection tasks in the psychology of reasoning has been quite counter-productive and should be discontinued.
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https://jeannicod.ccsd.cnrs.fr/ijn_00000052
Contributor : Dan Sperber <>
Submitted on : Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 12:07:33 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 11:46:08 AM
Document(s) archivé(s) le : Saturday, April 3, 2010 - 8:06:35 PM

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  • HAL Id : ijn_00000052, version 1

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Dan Sperber, Vittorio Girotto. Use or misuse of the selection task? Rejoinder to Fiddick, Cosmides and Tooby. Cognition, Elsevier, 2002. ⟨ijn_00000052⟩

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