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Deductive Schemas with Uncertain Premises Using Qualitative Probability Expressions

Abstract : The new paradigm in the psychology of reasoning redirects the investigation of deduction conceptually and methodologically because the premises and the conclusion of the inferences are assumed to be uncertain. A probabilistic counterpart of the concept of logical validity and a method to assess whether individuals comply with it must be defined. Conceptually, we used de Finetti's coherence as a normative framework to assess individuals' performance. Methodologically, we presented inference schemas whose premises had various levels of probability that contained non-numerical expressions (e.g., "the chances are high") and, as a control, sure levels. Depending on the inference schemas, from 60% to 80% of the participants produced coherent conclusions when the premises were uncertain. The data also show that (i) except for schemas involving conjunction, performance was consistently lower with certain than uncertain premises, (ii) the rate of conjunction fallacy was consistently low (not exceeding 20%, even with sure premises), and (iii) participants' interpretation of the conditional agreed with de Finetti's "conditional event" but not with the material conditional.
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Contributor : Guy Politzer <>
Submitted on : Friday, April 1, 2016 - 5:55:42 PM
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Guy Politzer, Jean Baratgin. Deductive Schemas with Uncertain Premises Using Qualitative Probability Expressions. Thinking and Reasoning, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2016, 22 (1), pp.78-98. ⟨10.1080/13546783.2015.1052561⟩. ⟨ijn_01293776⟩



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