Belief-logic conflict resolution in syllogistic reasoning: Inspection-time evidence for a parallel-process model

Thinking and Reasoning 14 (2):168 – 181 (2008)
Abstract
An experiment is reported examining dual-process models of belief bias in syllogistic reasoning using a problem complexity manipulation and an inspection-time method to monitor processing latencies for premises and conclusions. Endorsement rates indicated increased belief bias on complex problems, a finding that runs counter to the “belief-first” selective scrutiny model, but which is consistent with other theories, including “reasoning-first” and “parallel-process” models. Inspection-time data revealed a number of effects that, again, arbitrated against the selective scrutiny model. The most striking inspection-time result was an interaction between logic and belief on premise-processing times, whereby belief - logic conflict problems promoted increased latencies relative to non-conflict problems. This finding challenges belief-first and reasoning-first models, but is directly predicted by parallel-process models, which assume that the outputs of simultaneous heuristic and analytic processing streams lead to an awareness of belief - logic conflicts than then require time-consuming resolution
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