Reasoning versus text processing in the Wason selection task: a nondeontic perspective on perspective effects.

Abstract

We argue that perspective effects in the Wason four-card selection task are a product of the linguistic interpretation of the rule in the context of the problem text and not of the reasoning process underlying card selection. In three experiments, participants recalled the rule they used in either a selection or a plausibility rating task. The results showed that (1) participants tended to recall rules compatible with their card selection and not with the rule as stated in the problem and (2) recall was not affected by whether or not participants performed card selection. We conclude that perspective effects in the Wason selection task do not concern how card selection is reasoned about but instead reflect the inferential text processing involved in the comprehension of the problem text. Together with earlier research that showed selection performance in nondeontic contexts to be indistinguishable from selection performance in deontic contexts (Almor & Sloman, 1996; Sperber, Cara, & Girotto, 1995), the present results undermine the claim that reasoning in a deontic context elicits specialized cognitive processes.

Cite this paper

@article{Almor2000ReasoningVT, title={Reasoning versus text processing in the Wason selection task: a nondeontic perspective on perspective effects.}, author={Amit Almor and Steven A. Sloman}, journal={Memory & cognition}, year={2000}, volume={28 6}, pages={1060-70} }