Rules for Reasoning / Edition 1

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Overview

This book examines two questions: Do people make use of abstract rules such as logical and statistical rules when making inferences in everyday life? Can such abstract rules be changed by training? Contrary to the spirit of reductionist theories from behaviorism to connectionism, there is ample evidence that people do make use of abstract rules of inference — including rules of logic, statistics, causal deduction, and cost-benefit analysis. Such rules, moreover, are easily alterable by instruction as it occurs in classrooms and in brief laboratory training sessions. The fact that purely formal training can alter them and that those taught in one content domain can "escape" to a quite different domain for which they are also highly applicable shows that the rules are highly abstract. The major implication for cognitive science is that people are capable of operating with abstract rules even for concrete, mundane tasks; therefore, any realistic model of human inferential capacity must reflect this fact. The major implication for education is that people can be far more broadly influenced by training than is generally supposed. At high levels of formality and abstraction, relatively brief training can alter the nature of problem-solving for an infinite number of content domains.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805812565
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Lexile: 1450L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Reasoning, Abstraction, and the Prejudices of 20th Century Psychology 1
Pt. I Establishing the Existence of Rules for Reasoning
2 The use of statistical heuristics in everyday reasoning 15
3 Variability and confirmation 55
4 Inductive reasoning: Competence or skill? 70
Pt. II Teaching Statistical Rules
5 The effects of statistical training on thinking about everyday problems 91
6 Immediate and delayed transfer of training effects in statistical reasoning 136
Pt. III Rules for Conditional Reasoning
7 Pragmatic versus syntactic approaches to training deductive reasoning 165
Pt. IV Rules for Causal Reasoning
8 Pragmatic constraints on causal deduction 207
9 Tools of the trade: Deductive schemas taught in psychology and philosophy 228
Pt. V Rules for Choice
10 Teaching the use of cost-benefit reasoning in everyday life 259
11 Who uses the normative rules of choice? 277
Pt. VI Implications for Education
12 Teaching reasoning 297
13 The effects of graduate training on reasoning: Formal discipline and thinking about everyday life events 315
14 A longitudinal study of the effects of undergraduate education on reasoning 340
Pt. VII Implications for Cognitive Science
15 The case for rules in reasoning 361
Author Index 403
Subject Index 408
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