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PSYC 2650 (228)
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Reasoning.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 2650
Professor
Dan Meegan

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Description
Reasoning Deduction: a process though which we start with claims or assertions that we count as “given” and ask what follows from these premises- conclusion is “by definition” - Allows us to make predictions about upcoming events - Important to disconfirm or challenge a belief People generally use a confirmation bias: a strong tendency to seek out confirming evidence and to rely on that evidence in drawing their conclusions - When assessing a hypothesis people will use information that confirms their evidence - When disconfirming evidence is made available, people fail to use it in adjusting their beliefs - When people encounter confirming evidence they take it at face value, however with disconfirming evidence they reinterpret it to diminish its value - People regularly fail to consider alternative hypotheses that might explain the available data just as well as their current hypothesis does Belief Perseverance: a tendency to continue endorsing some assertion or claim, even when the clearly available evidence completely undermines that claim Logic Categorical Syllogisms: a logical argument containing two premises and a conclusion, and concerned with the properties of, and relations between, categories Premise: a proposition that is assumed to be true in a logic problem; the problem asks what conclusion follows from its premises Valid Argument: an argument for which the conclusion follows from the premise, in accord with the rules of logic or the principles of statistics and research methods Belief Bias: a tendency within logical reasoning to endorse a conclusion if the conclusion happen to be something one believes is true anyhow- in displaying this tendency, people seem to ignore both the premises of the logical argument and logic itself, and they rely instead on their broader pattern of beliefs about what is true and what is not - Logic is concerned with “local” issues; specifically whether a particular conclusion is warranted by a particular set of premises - Willing to endorse a bad argument if it fits with what they already believe in - Also make logical errors due to poor matching strategies; “if all A are B” and “all D are B” then people are likely to accept that “all A are D” because this matches the wording and structure of the premise- although NOT valid Conditional Statement: a statement of the format “if X then Y” with the first statement (the “if” clause) providing a condition under which the second statement (the then clause) is guaranteed to be true Modus Ponens If A then B A Therefore B Modus Tollens If A then B B is false Therefore A is false Affirming the Consequent: an ERROR often made in logical reasoning – If A then B B is true Therefore A must be true Denying the Antecedent: an ERROR often made in logical reasoning If A then B A is false Therefore B is false Selection Task: an experimental procedure, commonly used to study reasoning in which a person is presented with four cards with certain information on either side of the card- the person is given a rule that may describe the cards, and the persons task is to decide which cards must be turned over to find out if the rule describes the card or not - Rule: if a card has a vowel on one side, it must have an even number on the other - Turn over the card that’s a vowel to confirm rule - Rule makes no mention of consonants so don’t turn that over - If you find a vowel on the other side of an even number then that fits the rule, however if you find a consonant there are no claims about that so nothing will be learned - By turning over the odd number you can confirm the rule by finding a consonant or disconfirm by finding a vowel  Evolutionarily speaking it’s much easier to perceive all of this in a social setting because our ancestors actually used this logic to identify betrayal and cheating Pragmatic Reasoning Schema: a collection of rules, derived from ordinary practical experience, that defines what interferences are appropriate in a specific situation- usually defined in terms of a goal or theme, and so on
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