The Suppression of card selections in Wason's selection task: evidence that inference plays a role

Aidan Feeney, Simon J. Handley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

Abstract

We report the results of two experiments designed to investigate the role of inference in Wason's selection task. In Experiment 1 participants received either a standard one rule problem or a task which contained an additional rule. This additional rule specified an alternative antecedent. Both groups of participants were asked to select those cards they considered necessary to test whether the rule common to both problems was true or false. The results showed a significant suppression of "q" card selections. In addition there was weak evidence for increased "not-q" selection. In Experiment 2 we manipulated number of rules, as before, and the presence or absence of explicit negation on the cards. Once again "q" card selections were suppressed, but there was no evidence of an increase in "not-q" selection. There was also no effect of type of negation. Our results suggest that inferences about the unseen side of the cards underlie participants' selections. W e argue firstly that these findings are inconsistent with current views of selection task performance (Oaksford and Chater, 1994, Evans and Over, 1996) and secondly, that they support accounts which emphasise the role of inference in the task.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
EditorsMorton Ann Gernsbacher, Sharon J. Derry
Place of PublicationMahwah, NJ
PublisherLawrence Erlbaum
Pages339-344
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)0805832319
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes
EventAnnual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (20th : 1998) - University of Wisconsin-Madison
Duration: 1 Aug 19984 Aug 1998

Conference

ConferenceAnnual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (20th : 1998)
CityUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
Period1/08/984/08/98

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