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Lecture 6

PSY210H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Hypothesis, Wason Selection Task, Inductive Reasoning

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Lecture 6 PSYA02 Notes
Deductive Reasoning
Inferring specific instances from general principles
oCategorical Syllogism
An argument describing the relations between categories of
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
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
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
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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