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Psychology 4223F/G
Eric Ball

Deductive Reasoning • Inferring specific instances from general principles o Categorical 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. o Conditional 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) o Evolutionary 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 o Evidence: Wason Selection Task performance improves when the task is framed in terms of contract violation Inductive Reasoning • Inferring general principles from specific instances o General Induction: known instances →*all* instances o Specific Induction: some instances →other instances o Hypothesis—a proposition that can be evaluated or tested by gathering evidence to support or refute it o No 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 o The disinclination to seek evidence that would indicate whether a hypothesis is false o E.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
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