Title: Considering Too Few Alternatives: The Mental Model Theory of Extensional Reasoning
Other Titles: Considering Too Few Alternatives
Authors: Schaeken, Walter * #
Chevalley, Thierry * # ×
Issue Date: Jun-2015
Publisher: Psychology Press
Series Title: The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology vol:69 issue:4 pages:728-751
Article number: 1049622
Abstract: When solving a simple probabilistic problem, people tend to build an incomplete mental representation. We observe this pattern in responses to probabilistic problems over a set of premises using the conjunction, disjunction and conditional propositional connectives. The Mental Model Theory of Extensional Reasoning explains this bias towards underestimating the number of possibilities: In reckoning with different interpretations of the premises (logical rules, mental model theoretical, and specific to conditional premises, conjunction and biconditional interpretation) the Mental Model Theory accounts for the majority of observations. Different interpretations of a premise result in a build-up of mental models that are often incomplete. These mental models are processed using either an extensional strategy relying on proportions amongst models, or a conflict monitoring strategy. The consequence of considering too few possibilities is an erroneous probability estimate akin to that faced by decision makers who fail to generate and consider all alternatives, a characteristic of bounded rationality. We compare our results to the results published Johnson-Laird, Legrenzi, Girotto, Legrenzi, and Caverni (1999), and observe lower performance levels than in the original article.
ISSN: 1747-0218
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Laboratory for Experimental Psychology
* (joint) first author
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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