David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Thinking and Reasoning 12 (3):257 – 280 (2006)
Recent research (e.g., Evans & Over, 2004) has provided support for the hypothesis that people evaluate the probability of conditional statements of the form if p then q as the conditional probability of q given p , P( q / p ). The present paper extends this approach to pragmatic conditionals in the form of inducements (i.e., promises and threats) and advice (i.e., tips and warnings). In so doing, we demonstrate a distinction between the truth status of these conditionals and their effectiveness as speech acts. Specifically, while probability judgements of the truth of conditional inducements and advice are highly correlated with estimates of P( q / p ), their perceived effectiveness in changing behaviour instead varies as a function of the conditional probability of q given not-p , P( q / ∼p ). Finally, we show that the conditional probability approach can be extended to predicting inference rates on a conditional reasoning task.
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Citations of this work BETA
Jonathan StB. T. Evans, Helen Neilens, Simon J. Handley & David E. Over (2008). When Can We Say ‘If’? Cognition 108 (1):100-116.
Jean-François Bonnefon, Vittorio Girotto & Paolo Legrenzi (2012). The Psychology of Reasoning About Preferences and Unconsequential Decisions. Synthese 185 (S1):27-41.
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