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Betting on conditionals

Abstract : A study is reported testing two hypotheses about a close parallel relation between indicative conditionals, if A then B, and conditional bets, I bet you that if A then B. The first is that both the indicative conditional and the conditional bet are related to the conditional probability, P(B|A). The second is that de Finetti's three-valued truth table has psychological reality for both types of conditional – true, false, or void for indicative conditionals and win, lose or void for conditional bets. The participants were presented with an array of chips in two different colours and two different shapes, and an indicative conditional or a conditional bet about a random chip. They had to make judgments in two conditions: either about the chances of making the indicative conditional true or false or about the chances of winning or losing the conditional bet. The observed distributions of responses in the two conditions were generally related to the conditional probability, supporting the first hypothesis. In addition, a majority of participants in further conditions chose the third option, “void”, when the antecedent of the conditional was false, supporting the second hypothesis.
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Contributor : Guy Politzer <>
Submitted on : Monday, August 30, 2010 - 3:11:57 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 9:58:02 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, December 1, 2016 - 12:52:53 PM


  • HAL Id : ijn_00512473, version 1



Guy Politzer, David P Over, Jean Baratgin. Betting on conditionals. Thinking and Reasoning, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2010, 16 (3), pp.172-197. ⟨ijn_00512473⟩



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