Walter Schaeken

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This article describes a new theory of propositional reasoning, that is, deductions depending on if, or, and, and not. The theory proposes that reasoning is a semantic process based on mental models. It assumes that people are able to maintain models of only a limited number of alternative states of affairs, and they accordingly use models representing as(More)
M. Oaksford, N. Chater, and J. Larkin (2000) proffered a Bayesian model in which conditional inferences are a direct function of conditional probabilities. In the current article, the authors first considered this model regarding the processing of negatives in conditional reasoning. Its predictions were evaluated against a large-scale meta-analysis (W. J.(More)
Two experiments examined the contribution of working memory (WM) to the retrieval and inhibition of background knowledge about counterexamples (alternatives and disablers, Cummins, 1995) during conditional reasoning. Experiment 1 presented a conditional reasoning task with everyday, causal conditionals to a group of people with high and low WM spans. High(More)
This study tested and refined a framework that proposes a mechanism for retrieving alternative causes and disabling conditions (Cummins, 1995) during reasoning. Experiment 1 examined the relation between different factors affecting retrieval. The test revealed high correlations between the number of possible alternative causes or disabling conditions and(More)
The mental model theory of reasoning postulates that individuals reason by constructing models of the situation described by premises. The more models reasoners have to build, the harder a problem will be. Byrne and Johnson-Laird (1989) confirmed this prediction with spatial problems and Schaeken et al. (1996 a, b) with temporal ones. There is, however, a(More)
The present study introduces dual task methodology to test opposing psychological processing predictions concerning the nature of implicatures in pragmatic theories. Implicatures routinely arise in human communication when hearers interpret utterances pragmatically and go beyond the logical meaning of the terms. The neo-Gricean view (e.g., Levinson, 2000)(More)
Previous research showed that conditional reasoning is affected by the content and the context of the studied problems. In this study, we investigate in detail the relative effect of three factors, namely the number of alternative or disabling reasons, speaker control, and pragmatic type, on the interpretation of conditionals. These factors were subject to(More)
We report five experiments investigating reasoning based on temporal relations, such as: "John takes a shower before he drinks coffee". How individuals make temporal inferences has not been studied hitherto, but we conjectured that they construct mental models of events, and we developed a computer program that reasons in this way. As the program shows, a(More)
Reasoning with conditionals involving causal content is known to be affected by retrieval of counterexamples from semantic memory. In this study we examined the characteristics of this search process in everyday conditional reasoning. In Experiment 1 we manipulated the number (zero to four) of explicitly presented counterexamples (alternative causes or(More)
The present study interprets the overuse of proportional solution methods from a dual process framework. Dual process theories claim that analytic operations involve time-consuming executive processing, whereas heuristic operations are fast and automatic. In two experiments to test whether proportional reasoning is heuristic-based, the participants solved(More)