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The psychology of indicative conditionals and conditional bets

Abstract : There is a new Bayesian, or probabilistic, paradigm in the psychology of reasoning, with new psychological accounts of the indicative conditional of natural language. In psychological experiments in this new paradigm, people judge that the probability of the indicative conditional, P(if A then C), is the conditional probability of C given A, P(C | A). In other experiments, participants respond with what has been called the 'de- fective' truth table: they judge that if A then C is true when A holds and C holds, is false when A holds and C does not, and is neither true nor false when A does not hold. We argue that these responses are not 'defective' in any negative sense, as many psychologists have implied. We point out that a number of normative researchers, including de Finetti, have proposed such a table for various coherent interpretations of the third value. We review the relevant general tables in the normative literature, in which there is a third value for A and C and the logically compound forms of the natural language conditional, negation, conjunction, disjunction, and the material conditional. We describe the results of an experiment on which of these tables best describes ordinary people's judgements when the third value is interpreted as indicating uncertainty.
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Contributor : Guy Politzer <>
Submitted on : Sunday, June 16, 2013 - 10:55:02 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 9:58:02 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 10:35:23 PM



  • HAL Id : ijn_00834585, version 1



Jean Baratgin, G. Politzer, D.P. Over. The psychology of indicative conditionals and conditional bets. 2013. ⟨ijn_00834585⟩



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