PSYC 3530 Lecture Notes - Wason Selection Task, Inductive Reasoning, Deductive Reasoning

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Deductive Reasoning
Inferring specific instances from general principles
oCategorical Syllogism
An argument describing the relations between categories of
things
Premise 1: All A are B All VWs are reliable.
Premise 2: C is an A The Beetle is a VW.
Conclusion: C is B The Beetle is reliable.
oConditional Syllogism
An argument describing the conditional relations between
events
Premise 1: If P then Q If it is a VW, then it is
reliable.
Premise 2: P is true The Beetle is a VW.
Conclusion: Q is true The Beetle is reliable.
Errors in Deductive Reasoning
Social Contract Theory (Tooby & Cosmides)
oEvolutionary selection pressures have equipped us with a “cheater
detection mechanism”—an innate set of inferential rules that help us
to detect the violation of social contracts
oEvidence: Wason Selection Task performance improves when the task
is framed in terms of contract violation
Inductive Reasoning
Inferring general principles from specific instances
oGeneral Induction: known instances *all* instances
oSpecific Induction: some instances other instances
oHypothesis—a proposition that can be evaluated or tested by gathering
evidence to support or refute it
oNo inductive process can ever be certain: we cannot know all the
instances that may exist, any one of which may disprove the
generalization
Errors in Inductive Reasoning
Confirmation Bias
oThe disinclination to seek evidence that would indicate whether a
hypothesis is false
oE.g., the Wason 2–4–6 Task
Participant’s goal: Discover the rule
“Even numbers increasing by two:” e.g., 8–10–12
“Any set of numbers increasing by two:” e.g., 7–9–11
Participants then switch from confirm to disconfirm, and soon
discover the surprisingly simple rule: “Numbers of increasing
magnitude”
Analogical Reasoning
A special kind of inductive reasoning; the process of applying knowledge from
domain (“the source”) to another domain (“the target”).
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