Neue Veröffentlichung in "Thinking & Reasoning"
Probabilistic theories of reasoning assume that people use their prior knowledge to estimate the conditional probability of q given p and that this probability predicts the acceptance of modus ponens inferences. But how do people reason with unfamiliar conditionals for which they do not have prior knowledge? Reasoning without prior knowledge has been extensively investigated in experiments in which participants were instructed to reason deductively. But it is still not clear how people reason with unfamiliar conditionals when they are instructed to reason as in daily life. Can probabilities also predict reasoning with unfamiliar content? In two experiments we instructed participants to reason as in everyday life and to evaluate conclusions from familiar and unfamiliar conditionals. Results showed that reasoning with familiar conditionals can be predicted by the conditional probability. For unfamiliar conditionals, however, this was not the case. Conclusions from unfamiliar conditionals were accepted more strongly than what could be expected according to their conditional probability. Our findings challenge probabilistic theories of reasoning and suggest that other approaches, such as a dual-strategy model, describe our results more adequately.
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