Markers of social group membership as probabilistic cues in reasoning tasks

Thinking and Reasoning 7 (4):313 – 346 (2001)
Reasoning about social groups and their associated markers was investigated as a particular case of human reasoning about cue-category relationships. Assertions that reasoning involving cues (group markers) and associated categories (social groups) elicits specific probabilistic assumptions are supported by the results of three experiments. This phenomenon remains intact across the use of categorical syllogisms (Experiment 1), conditional syllogisms (Experiment 2), and the use of social groups that vary in their perceived cohesiveness, or entitativity (Experiment 3). Implications are discussed for various theories of reasoning, and additional aspects of social group/coalitional reasoning are also discussed.
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