Title: Inference suppression and semantic memory retrieval: every counterexample counts
Authors: De Neys, Wim ×
Schaeken, Walter
d'Ydewalle, Géry #
Issue Date: 2003
Series Title: Memory and cognition vol:31 issue:4 pages:581-595
Abstract: Reasoning with conditionals involving causal content is known to be affected by retrieval of counterexamples from semantic memory. In this study we examined the characteristics of this search process in everyday conditional reasoning. In Experiment 1 we manipulated the number (zero to four) of explicitly presented counterexamples (alternative causes or disabling conditions) for causal conditionals. In Experiment 2, using a generation pretest, we measured the number of counterexamples participants could retrieve for a set of causal conditionals. One month after the pretest, participants were presented a reasoning task with the same conditionals. The experiments indicated that acceptance of modus ponens linearly decreased with every additionally retrieved disabler, whereas affirmation of the consequent acceptance linearly decreased as a function of the number of retrieved alternatives. Results for denial of the antecedent and modus tollens were less clear. The findings show that the search process does not necessarily stop after retrieval of a single counterexample and that every additional counterexample has an impact on the inference acceptance.
ISSN: 0090-502X
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Laboratory for Experimental Psychology
Faculty of Engineering Science - miscellaneous
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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