Contrast classes and matching bias as explanations of the effects of negation on conditional reasoning

Thinking and Reasoning 8 (2):135 – 151 (2002)
Abstract
In this paper the arguments for optimal data selection and the contrast class account of negations in the selection task and the conditional inference task are summarised, and contrasted with the matching bias approach. It is argued that the probabilistic contrast class account provides a unified, rational explanation for effects across these tasks. Moreover, there are results that are only explained by the contrast class account that are also discussed. The only major anomaly is the explicit negations effect in the selection task (Evans, Clibbens, & Rood, 1996), which it is argued may not be the result of normal interpretative processes. It is concluded that the effects of negation on human reasoning provide good evidence for the view that human reasoning processes may be rational according to a probabilistic standard.
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