Rationality and Reasoning

Author: Jonathon St. B.T. Evans
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 1135472300
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This book addresses an apparent paradox in the psychology of thinking. On the one hand, human beings are a highly successful species. On the other, intelligent adults are known to exhibit numerous errors and biases in laboratory studies of reasoning and decision making. There has been much debate among both philosophers and psychologists about the implications of such studies for human rationality. The authors argue that this debate is marked by a confusion between two distinct notions: (a) personal rationality (rationality1 Evans and Over argue that people have a high degree of rationality1 but only a limited capacity for rationality2. The book re-interprets the psychological literature on reasoning and decision making, showing that many normative errors, by abstract standards, reflect the operation of processes that would normally help to achieve ordinary goals. Topics discussed include relevance effects in reasoning and decision making, the influence of prior beliefs on thinking, and the argument that apparently non-logical reasoning can reflect efficient decision making. The authors also discuss the problem of deductive competence - whether people have it, and what mechanism can account for it. As the book progresses, increasing emphasis is given to the authors' dual process theory of thinking, in which a distinction between tacit and explicit cognitive systems is developed. It is argued that much of human capacity for rationality1 is invested in tacit cognitive processes, which reflect both innate mechanisms and biologically constrained learning. However, the authors go on to argue that human beings also possess an explicit thinking system, which underlies their unique - if limited - capacity to be rational.

Rationality in an Uncertain World

Author: Mike Oaksford
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 9780863775345
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book brings together an influential sequence of papers that argue for a radical re-conceptualisation of the psychology of inference, and of cognitive science more generally. The papers demonstrate that the thesis that logic provides the basis of human inference is central to much cognitive science, although the commitment to this view is often implicit. They then note that almost all human inference is uncertain, whereas logic is the calculus of certain inference. This mismatch means that logic is not the appropriate model for human thought. Oaksford and Chater's argument draws on research in computer science, artificial intelligence and philosophy of science, in addition to experimental psychology. The authors propose that probability theory, the calculus of uncertain inference, provides a more appropriate model for human thought. They show how a probabilistic account can provide detailed explanations of experimental data on Wason's selection task, which many have viewed as providing a paradigmatic demonstration of human irrationality. Oaksford and Chater show that people's behaviour appears irrational only from a logical point of view, whereas it is entirely rational from a probabilistic perspective. The shift to a probabilistic framework for human inference has significant implications for the psychology of reasoning, cognitive science more generally, and forour picture of ourselves as rational agents.

Hypothetical Thinking

Author: Jonathan St. B. T. Evans
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 1135419523
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Hypothetical thought involves the imagination of possibilities and the exploration of their consequences by a process of mental simulation. Using a recently developed theoretical framework called Hypothetical Thinking Theory, Jonathan St. B. T. Evans provides an integrated theoretical account of a wide range of psychological studies on hypothesis testing, reasoning, judgement and decision making. Hypothetical thinking theory is built on three key principles, implemented in a revised and updated version of Evans' well-known heuristic–analytic theory of reasoning. The central claim of this book is that this theory can provide an integrated account of some apparently very diverse phenomena including confirmation bias in hypothesis testing, acceptance of fallacies in deductive reasoning, belief biases in reasoning and judgement, biases of statistical judgement and a number of characteristic findings in the study of decision making. The author also provides broad ranging discussion of cognitive biases, human rationality and dual-process theories of higher cognition. Hypothetical Thinking draws on and develops arguments first proposed in Evans’ earlier work from this series, Bias in Human Reasoning. In the new theory, however, cognitive biases are attributed equally to analytic and heuristic processing and a much wider range of phenomena are reviewed and discussed. It will therefore be of great interest to researchers and post-graduates in psychology and the cognitive sciences, as well as to undergraduate students looking for a comprehensive review of current work on reasoning and decision-making.

Rationality In An Uncertain World

Author: Nick Chater
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 1135471754
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book brings together an influential sequence of papers that argue for a radical re-conceptualisation of the psychology of inference, and of cognitive science more generally. The papers demonstrate that the thesis that logic provides the basis of human inference is central to much cognitive science, although the commitment to this view is often implicit. They then note that almost all human inference is uncertain, whereas logic is the calculus of certain inference. This mismatch means that logic is not the appropriate model for human thought. Oaksford and Chater's argument draws on research in computer science, artificial intelligence and philosophy of science, in addition to experimental psychology. The authors propose that probability theory, the calculus of uncertain inference, provides a more appropriate model for human thought. They show how a probabilistic account can provide detailed explanations of experimental data on Wason's selection task, which many have viewed as providing a paradigmatic demonstration of human irrationality. Oaksford and Chater show that people's behaviour appears irrational only from a logical point of view, whereas it is entirely rational from a probabilistic perspective. The shift to a probabilistic framework for human inference has significant implications for the psychology of reasoning, cognitive science more generally, and forour picture of ourselves as rational agents.

Bayesian Rationality

Author: Mike Oaksford
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198524496
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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For almost 2,500 years, the Western concept of what is to be human has been dominated by the idea that the mind is the seat of reason - humans are, almost by definition, the rational animal. In this text a more radical suggestion for explaining these puzzling aspects of human reasoning is put forward.

Cognitive Psychology

Author: Michael W. Eysenck
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 9780863775512
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This text introduces contemporary topics such as cognitive neuropsychology, connectionism and cognition and emotion. This edition includes a new chapter on judgement and decision-making.

Hypothetical Thinking

Author: Centre for Thinking and Language School of Psychology Jonathan St B T Evans
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 1135419531
Format: PDF, Docs
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Hypothetical thought involves the imagination of possibilities and the exploration of their consequences by a process of mental simulation. Using a recently developed theoretical framework called Hypothetical Thinking Theory, Jonathan St. B. T. Evans provides an integrated theoretical account of a wide range of psychological studies on hypothesis testing, reasoning, judgement and decision making. Hypothetical thinking theory is built on three key principles, implemented in a revised and updated version of Evans' well-known heuristic–analytic theory of reasoning. The central claim of this book is that this theory can provide an integrated account of some apparently very diverse phenomena including confirmation bias in hypothesis testing, acceptance of fallacies in deductive reasoning, belief biases in reasoning and judgement, biases of statistical judgement and a number of characteristic findings in the study of decision making. The author also provides broad ranging discussion of cognitive biases, human rationality and dual-process theories of higher cognition. Hypothetical Thinking draws on and develops arguments first proposed in Evans’ earlier work from this series, Bias in Human Reasoning. In the new theory, however, cognitive biases are attributed equally to analytic and heuristic processing and a much wider range of phenomena are reviewed and discussed. It will therefore be of great interest to researchers and post-graduates in psychology and the cognitive sciences, as well as to undergraduate students looking for a comprehensive review of current work on reasoning and decision-making.

Rational Models of Cognition

Author: Mike Oaksford
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN:
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This book explores a new approach to understanding the human mind - rational analysis - that regards thinking as a facility adapted to the structure of the world. This approach is most closely associated with the work of John R Anderson, who published the original book on rational analysis in 1990. Since then, a great deal of work has been carried out in a number of laboratories around the world, and the aim of this book is to bring this work together for the benefit of the general psychological audience. The book contains chapters by some of the world's leading researchers in memory, categorisation, reasoning, and search, who show how the power of rational analysis can be applied to the central question of how humans think. It will be of interest to students and researchers in cognitive psychology, cognitive science, and animal behaviour.

Reason and Nature

Author: José Luis Bermúdez
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199256839
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Reason and Nature investigates the normative dimension of reason and rationality and how it can be situated within the natural world. Nine philosophers and two psychologists address three main themes. The first concerns the status of norms of rationality and, in particular, how it is possible to show that norms we take to be objectively authoritative are so in fact. The second has to do with the precise form taken by the norms of rationality. The third concerns the role of norms of rationality in the psychological explanation of belief and action. It is widely assumed that we use the normative principles of rationality as regulative principles governing psychological explanation. This seems to demand that there is a certain harmony between the norms of rationality and the psychology of reasoning. What, then, should we make of the well-documented evidence suggesting that people consistently fail to reason well? And how can we extend the model to non-language-using creatures? As this collection testifies, current work in the theory of rationality is subject to very diverse influences ranging from experimental and theoretical psychology, through philosophy of logic and language, to metaethics and the theory of practical reasoning. This work is pursued in various philosophical styles and with various orientations. Straight-down-the-line analytical, and largely a priori, enquiry contrasts with empirically constrained theorizing. A focus on human rationality contrasts with a focus on rationality in the wider natural world. As things stand work in one style often proceeds in isolation from work in others. If progress is to be made on rationality theorists will need to range widely. Reason and Nature will provide a stimulus to that endeavour.

The Roots of Reason

Author: David Papineau
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 9780199288717
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David Papineau presents a controversial view of human reason, portraying it as a normal part of the natural world, and drawing on the empirical sciences to illuminate its workings. In these six interconnected essays he offers a fresh approach to some long-standing problems.Papineau rejects the contemporary orthodoxy that genuine thought hinges on some species of non-natural normativity. He explores the evolutionary histories of theoretical and practical rationality, indicating ways in which capacities underlying human reasoning have been selected for their biological advantages. He then looks at the connection between decision and probability, explaining how good decisions need to be informed by causal as well as probabilistic facts. Finally he defends theradical view that a satisfactory understanding of decision-making is only possible within a specific interpretation of quantum mechanics.By placing the subject in its scientific context, Papineau shows how human rationality plays an explicable role in the functioning of the natural world.