rationality and reasoning essays in cognitive psychology

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Rationality And Reasoning

Author : Jonathon St. B.T. Evans
ISBN : 9781135472313
Genre : Psychology
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This book addresses an apparent paradox in the psychology of thinking. On the one hand, human beings are a highly successful species. On the other, intelligent adults are known to exhibit numerous errors and biases in laboratory studies of reasoning and decision making. There has been much debate among both philosophers and psychologists about the implications of such studies for human rationality. The authors argue that this debate is marked by a confusion between two distinct notions: (a) personal rationality (rationality1 Evans and Over argue that people have a high degree of rationality1 but only a limited capacity for rationality2. The book re-interprets the psychological literature on reasoning and decision making, showing that many normative errors, by abstract standards, reflect the operation of processes that would normally help to achieve ordinary goals. Topics discussed include relevance effects in reasoning and decision making, the influence of prior beliefs on thinking, and the argument that apparently non-logical reasoning can reflect efficient decision making. The authors also discuss the problem of deductive competence - whether people have it, and what mechanism can account for it. As the book progresses, increasing emphasis is given to the authors' dual process theory of thinking, in which a distinction between tacit and explicit cognitive systems is developed. It is argued that much of human capacity for rationality1 is invested in tacit cognitive processes, which reflect both innate mechanisms and biologically constrained learning. However, the authors go on to argue that human beings also possess an explicit thinking system, which underlies their unique - if limited - capacity to be rational.

Rationality In An Uncertain World

Author : Mike Oaksford
ISBN : 0863775349
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 64. 54 MB
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This book brings together an influential sequence of papers that argue for a radical re-conceptualisation of the psychology of inference, and of cognitive science more generally. The papers demonstrate that the thesis that logic provides the basis of human inference is central to much cognitive science, although the commitment to this view is often implicit. They then note that almost all human inference is uncertain, whereas logic is the calculus of certain inference. This mismatch means that logic is not the appropriate model for human thought. Oaksford and Chater's argument draws on research in computer science, artificial intelligence and philosophy of science, in addition to experimental psychology. The authors propose that probability theory, the calculus of uncertain inference, provides a more appropriate model for human thought. They show how a probabilistic account can provide detailed explanations of experimental data on Wason's selection task, which many have viewed as providing a paradigmatic demonstration of human irrationality. Oaksford and Chater show that people's behaviour appears irrational only from a logical point of view, whereas it is entirely rational from a probabilistic perspective. The shift to a probabilistic framework for human inference has significant implications for the psychology of reasoning, cognitive science more generally, and forour picture of ourselves as rational agents.

Rationality In An Uncertain World

Author : Nick Chater
ISBN : 9781135471750
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 34. 98 MB
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This book brings together an influential sequence of papers that argue for a radical re-conceptualisation of the psychology of inference, and of cognitive science more generally. The papers demonstrate that the thesis that logic provides the basis of human inference is central to much cognitive science, although the commitment to this view is often implicit. They then note that almost all human inference is uncertain, whereas logic is the calculus of certain inference. This mismatch means that logic is not the appropriate model for human thought. Oaksford and Chater's argument draws on research in computer science, artificial intelligence and philosophy of science, in addition to experimental psychology. The authors propose that probability theory, the calculus of uncertain inference, provides a more appropriate model for human thought. They show how a probabilistic account can provide detailed explanations of experimental data on Wason's selection task, which many have viewed as providing a paradigmatic demonstration of human irrationality. Oaksford and Chater show that people's behaviour appears irrational only from a logical point of view, whereas it is entirely rational from a probabilistic perspective. The shift to a probabilistic framework for human inference has significant implications for the psychology of reasoning, cognitive science more generally, and forour picture of ourselves as rational agents.

The Shape Of Reason

Author : Vittorio Girotto
ISBN : 9781135425067
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 72. 96 MB
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Over the past three decades, there has been a rapid development of research on human thinking and reasoning. This volume provides a comprehensive review of this topic by looking at the important contributions Paolo Legrenzi has made to the field, by bridging the gap from Gestalt ideas to modern cognitive psychology. The contributors, including some of the most distinguished scholars of reasoning and thinking in Europe and the USA, reflect upon the ways in which he has influenced and inspired their own research, and contributed to modern approaches to human inference. This volume draws on both traditional and new topics in reasoning and thinking to provide a wide-ranging survey of human thought. It covers creativity, problem-solving, the linguistic and social aspects of reasoning and judgement, and the social and emotional aspects of decision making through telling examples, such as the cognitive mechanisms underlying consumers' attitudes towards herbal medicines. It considers a series of key questions, such as how do individuals who are unfamiliar with logic reason? And how do they make choices if they are unfamiliar with the probability calculus and decision theory? The discussions are placed throughout within a wider research context and the contributors consider the implications of their research for the field as a whole, making the volume an essential reference for anyone investigating the processes that underlies our thinking, reasoning, and decision-making in everyday life.

Reason And Nature

Author : José Luis Bermúdez
ISBN : 0199256837
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 29. 32 MB
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Reason and Nature investigates the normative dimension of reason and rationality and how it can be situated within the natural world. Nine philosophers and two psychologists address three main themes. The first concerns the status of norms of rationality and, in particular, how it is possible to show that norms we take to be objectively authoritative are so in fact. The second has to do with the precise form taken by the norms of rationality. The third concerns the role of norms of rationality in the psychological explanation of belief and action. It is widely assumed that we use the normative principles of rationality as regulative principles governing psychological explanation. This seems to demand that there is a certain harmony between the norms of rationality and the psychology of reasoning. What, then, should we make of the well-documented evidence suggesting that people consistently fail to reason well? And how can we extend the model to non-language-using creatures? As this collection testifies, current work in the theory of rationality is subject to very diverse influences ranging from experimental and theoretical psychology, through philosophy of logic and language, to metaethics and the theory of practical reasoning. This work is pursued in various philosophical styles and with various orientations. Straight-down-the-line analytical, and largely a priori, enquiry contrasts with empirically constrained theorizing. A focus on human rationality contrasts with a focus on rationality in the wider natural world. As things stand work in one style often proceeds in isolation from work in others. If progress is to be made on rationality theorists will need to range widely. Reason and Nature will provide a stimulus to that endeavour.

Mind And Morals

Author : Larry May
ISBN : 0262631652
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 88. 85 MB
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The essays in this anthology deal with the growing interconnections between moral philosophy and research that draws upon neuroscience, developmental psychology, and evolutionary biology. This cross-disciplinary interchange coincides, not accidentally, with the renewed interest in ethical naturalism. In order to understand the nature and limits of moral reasoning, many new ethical naturalists look to cognitive science for an account of how people actually reason. At the same time, many cognitive scientists have become increasingly interested in moral reasoning as a complex form of human cognition that challenges their theoretical models. The result of this collaborative, and often critical, interchange is an exciting intellectual ferment at the frontiers of research into human mentality. Sections and Contributors: Ethics NaturalizedOwen Flanagan, Mark L. Johnson, Virginia Held Moral Judgments, Representations, and PrototypesPaul M. Churchland, Andy Clark, Peggy DesAutels, Ruth Garrett Millikan Moral EmotionsRobert M. Gordon, Alvin I. Goldman, John Deigh, Naomi Scheman Agency and ResponsibilityJames P. Sterba, Susan Khin-Zaw, Helen E. Longino, Michael E. Bratman A Bradford Book

Hypothetical Thinking

Author : Centre for Thinking and Language School of Psychology Jonathan St B T Evans
ISBN : 9781135419530
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 89. 14 MB
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Hypothetical thought involves the imagination of possibilities and the exploration of their consequences by a process of mental simulation. Using a recently developed theoretical framework called Hypothetical Thinking Theory, Jonathan St. B. T. Evans provides an integrated theoretical account of a wide range of psychological studies on hypothesis testing, reasoning, judgement and decision making. Hypothetical thinking theory is built on three key principles, implemented in a revised and updated version of Evans' well-known heuristic–analytic theory of reasoning. The central claim of this book is that this theory can provide an integrated account of some apparently very diverse phenomena including confirmation bias in hypothesis testing, acceptance of fallacies in deductive reasoning, belief biases in reasoning and judgement, biases of statistical judgement and a number of characteristic findings in the study of decision making. The author also provides broad ranging discussion of cognitive biases, human rationality and dual-process theories of higher cognition. Hypothetical Thinking draws on and develops arguments first proposed in Evans’ earlier work from this series, Bias in Human Reasoning. In the new theory, however, cognitive biases are attributed equally to analytic and heuristic processing and a much wider range of phenomena are reviewed and discussed. It will therefore be of great interest to researchers and post-graduates in psychology and the cognitive sciences, as well as to undergraduate students looking for a comprehensive review of current work on reasoning and decision-making.

Without Good Reason

Author : Edward Stein
ISBN : 019158472X
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 40. 16 MB
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Are humans rational? Various experiments performed over the last several decades have been interpreted as showing that humans are irrational—we make significant and consistent errors in logical reasoning, probabilistic reasoning, similarity judgements, and risk-assessment, to name a few areas. But can these experiments establish human irrationality, or is it a conceptual truth that humans must be rational, as various philosophers have argued? In this book, Edward Stein offers a clear critical account of this debate about rationality in philosophy and cognitive science. He discusses concepts of rationality—the pictures of rationality that the debate centres on—and assesses the empirical evidence used to argue that humans are irrational. He concludes that the question of human rationality must be answered not conceptually but empirically, using the full resources of an advanced cognitive science. Furthermore, he extends this conclusion to argue that empirical considerations are also relevant to the theory of knowledge—in other words, that epistemology should be naturalized.

Reasoning Rationality And Dual Processes

Author : Jonathan St B.T. Evans
ISBN : 9781134610211
Genre : Psychology
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In the World Library of Psychologists series, international experts themselves present career-long collections of what they judge to be their finest pieces - extracts from books, key articles, salient research findings, and their major theoretical and practical contributions. Jonathan St B T Evans is amongst the foremost cognitive psychologists of his generation, having been influential in spearheading developments in the psychological study of reasoning from its very beginnings in the 1970s up to the present day. This volume of self-selected papers recognises Professor Evan’s major contribution to the psychological study of thinking and reasoning by bringing together his most influential and important works. Early selections in the book focus upon experimental studies of reasoning - matching bias in the Wason selection task, belief bias in syllogistic reasoning, and also seminal work on the understanding of conditional statements. The later selections include Evans’ work on more general forms of dual process and dual system theory, and his recent account of two minds in one brain. The volume also contains chapters which highlight Evans’ contribution to the topic of human rationality, and also his influence on the development of the "new paradigm" in the psychology of reasoning. The key developments in the psychology of reasoning are paralleled by those in Evans’s own intellectual history, and the book will therefore make essential reading for all researchers in the psychology of reasoning, and a wider audience of graduate and upper-level undergraduate students with an interest in reasoning and/or dual process theory.

The Roots Of Reason

Author : David Papineau
ISBN : 0199288712
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 26. 72 MB
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David Papineau presents a controversial view of human reason, portraying it as a normal part of the natural world, and drawing on the empirical sciences to illuminate its workings. In these six interconnected essays he offers a fresh approach to some long-standing problems.Papineau rejects the contemporary orthodoxy that genuine thought hinges on some species of non-natural normativity. He explores the evolutionary histories of theoretical and practical rationality, indicating ways in which capacities underlying human reasoning have been selected for their biological advantages. He then looks at the connection between decision and probability, explaining how good decisions need to be informed by causal as well as probabilistic facts. Finally he defends theradical view that a satisfactory understanding of decision-making is only possible within a specific interpretation of quantum mechanics.By placing the subject in its scientific context, Papineau shows how human rationality plays an explicable role in the functioning of the natural world.

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