Belief bias and figural bias in syllogistic reasoning

Nicola J. Morley*, Jonathan St B T Evans, Simon J. Handley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Belief bias is the tendency to be influenced by the believability of the conclusion when attempting to solve a syllogistic reasoning problem. Figurai bias is the tendency to be influenced by the order in which the information is presented in the premises when attempting to solve a syllogistic reasoning problem. When studied simultaneously they enable an investigation of whether participants' reasoning on the syllogistic reasoning task is guided by the conclusion (backward reasoning) or the premises (forward reasoning). Experiments 1 and 2 found evidence of belief bias but not figural bias on the syllogistic evaluation task paradigm. Experiments 3 and 4 found evidence of figural bias but not belief bias on the syllogistic production task paradigm. The findings highlight that different task characteristics influence performance dependent upon the nature of task presentation. These findings are discussed in the context of current theories of belief bias in syllogistic reasoning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666-692
Number of pages27
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A: Human Experimental Psychology
Volume57
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes

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