On the Failure to Eliminate Hypotheses in a Conceptual Task

  title={On the Failure to Eliminate Hypotheses in a Conceptual Task},
  author={Peter Cathcart Wason},
  journal={Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology},
  pages={129 - 140}
  • P. Wason
  • Published 1 July 1960
  • Medicine
  • Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
This investigation examines the extent to which intelligent young adults seek (i) confirming evidence alone (enumerative induction) or (ii) confirming and discontinuing evidence (eliminative induction), in order to draw conclusions in a simple conceptual task. The experiment is designed so that use of confirming evidence alone will almost certainly lead to erroneous conclusions because (i) the correct concept is entailed by many more obvious ones, and (ii) the universe of possible instances… 

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