David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 57 (November):129-138 (1983)
Recent advances in the cognitive psychology of inference have been of great interest to philosophers of science. The present paper reviews one such area, namely studies based upon Wason's 4-card selection task. It is argued that interpretation of the results of the experiments is complex, because a variety of inference strategies may be used by subjects to select evidence needed to confirm or disconfirm a hypothesis. Empirical evidence suggests that which strategy is used depends in part on the semantic, syntactic, and pragmatic context of the inference problem at hand. Since the factors of importance are also present in real-world science, and similarly complicate its interpretation, the selection task, though it does not present a quick fix, represents a kind of microcosm of great utility for the understanding of science. Several studies which have examined selection strategies in more complex problem-solving environments are also reviewed, in an attempt to determine the limits of generalizability of the simpler selection tasks. Certain interpretational misuses of laboratory research are described, and a claim made that the issue of whether or not scientists are rational should be approached by philosophers and psychologists with appropriate respect for the complexities of the issue
|Keywords||Inference Psychology Rationality Science|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Michael Gorman & Bernard Carlson (1989). Can Experiments Be Used to Study Science? Social Epistemology 3 (2):89 – 106.
Similar books and articles
Deborah G. Mayo & Aris Spanos (eds.) (2010). Error and Inference: Recent Exchanges on Experimental Reasoning, Reliability, and the Objectivity and Rationality of Science. Cambridge University Press.
Zoltan Dienes (2008). Understanding Psychology as a Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Statistical Inference. Palgrave Macmillan.
Frederick Eberhardt & David Danks (2011). Confirmation in the Cognitive Sciences: The Problematic Case of Bayesian Models. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 21 (3):389-410.
Mitch Parsell (2005). Context-Sensitive Inference, Modularity, and the Assumption of Formal Processing. Philosophical Psychology 18 (1):45-58.
Alex Viskovatoff (2001). Rationality as Optimal Choice Versus Rationality as Valid Inference. Journal of Economic Methodology 8 (2):313-337.
Harold Kincaid (2000). Formal Rationality and its Pernicious Effects on the Social Sciences. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 30 (1):67-88.
Peter Lipton (2004). Inference to the Best Explanation. Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
Dan Sperber (2002). Use or Misuse of the Selection Task? Rejoinder to Fiddick, Cosmides, and Tooby. Cognition 85 (3):277-290.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads15 ( #116,821 of 1,168,879 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #140,419 of 1,168,879 )
How can I increase my downloads?