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Profile: Guy Politzer (Institut Jean Nicod)
  1. Jean Baratgin, David E. Over & Guy Politzer (2013). Uncertainty and the de Finetti Tables. Thinking and Reasoning 19 (3-4):308-328.
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  2. Jean Baratgin, David E. Over & Guy Politzer (2011). Betting on Conditionals. Thinking and Reasoning 16 (3):172-197.
    A study is reported testing two hypotheses about a close parallel relation between indicative conditionals, if A then B , and conditional bets, I bet you that if A then B . The first is that both the indicative conditional and the conditional bet are related to the conditional probability, P(B|A). The second is that de Finetti's three-valued truth table has psychological reality for both types of conditional— true , false , or void for indicative conditionals and win , lose (...)
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  3. Jean Baratgin & Guy Politzer (2011). Updating: A Psychologically Basic Situation of Probability Revision. Thinking and Reasoning 16 (4):253-287.
    The Bayesian model has been used in psychology as the standard reference for the study of probability revision. In the first part of this paper we show that this traditional choice restricts the scope of the experimental investigation of revision to a stable universe. This is the case of a situation that, technically, is known as focusing. We argue that it is essential for a better understanding of human probability revision to consider another situation called updating (Katsuno & Mendelzon, 1992), (...)
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  4. Jean-François Bonnefon & Guy Politzer (2011). Pragmatics, Mental Models and One Paradox of the Material Conditional. Mind and Language 26 (2):141-155.
    Most instantiations of the inference ‘y; so if x, y’ seem intuitively odd, a phenomenon known as one of the paradoxes of the material conditional. A common explanation of the oddity, endorsed by Mental Model theory, is based on the intuition that the conclusion of the inference throws away semantic information. We build on this explanation to identify two joint conditions under which the inference becomes acceptable: (a) the truth of x has bearings on the relevance of asserting y; and (...)
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  5. Hugo Mercier & Guy Politzer (2011). Solving Categorical Syllogisms with Singular Premises. Thinking and Reasoning 14 (4):434-454.
    We elaborate on the approach to syllogistic reasoning based on “case identification” (Stenning & Oberlander, 1995; Stenning & Yule, 1997). It is shown that this can be viewed as the formalisation of a method of proof that dates back to Aristotle, namely proof by exposition ( ecthesis ), and that there are traces of this method in the strategies described by a number of psychologists, from St rring (1908) to the present day. We hypothesised that by rendering individual cases explicit (...)
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  6. Guy Politzer, David P. Over & Jean Baratgin (2010). Betting on Conditionals. Thinking and Reasoning 16 (3):172-197.
    A study is reported testing two hypotheses about a close parallel relation between indicative conditionals, if A then B, and conditional bets, I bet you that if A then B. The first is that both the indicative conditional and the conditional bet are related to the conditional probability, P(B|A). The second is that de Finetti's three-valued truth table has psychological reality for both types of conditional – true, false, or void for indicative conditionals and win, lose or void for conditional (...)
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  7. Guy Politzer (2009). Could It Be the Case That If I Am Right My Opponents Will Be Pleased? A Rejoinder to Johnson-Laird, Byrne and Girotto. Topoi 28 (1):81-85.
    I take up the four issues considered by Johnson-Laird, Byrne and Girotto in their reply to Politzer ( 2007 ). Based on the conceptual clarification which they adduce, it seems that the disagreement can be settled about the first one (truth functionality) and can be attenuated about the second one (the paradoxes of material implication). However, I maintain and refine my criticisms on the last two (negation and the probability of conditionals), backed up by considerations borrowed from the perspective (...)
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  8. Guy Politzer & Jean-François Bonnefon (2009). Let Us Not Put the Probabilistic Cart Before the Uncertainty Bull. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (1):100-101.
    Although we endorse the primacy of uncertainty in reasoning, we argue that a probabilistic framework cannot model the fundamental skill of proof administration. Furthermore, we are skeptical about the assumption that standard probability calculus is the appropriate formalism to represent human uncertainty. There are other models up to this task, so let us not repeat the excesses of the past.
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  9. Guy Politzer & Hugo Mercier (2008). Solving Categorical Syllogisms with Singular Premises. Thinking and Reasoning 14 (4):434 – 454.
    We elaborate on the approach to syllogistic reasoning based on “case identification” (Stenning & Oberlander, 1995; Stenning & Yule, 1997). It is shown that this can be viewed as the formalisation of a method of proof that dates back to Aristotle, namely proof by exposition ( ecthesis ), and that there are traces of this method in the strategies described by a number of psychologists, from St rring (1908) to the present day. We hypothesised that by rendering individual cases explicit (...)
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  10. Jean Baratgin & Guy Politzer (2007). The Psychology of Dynamic Probability Judgment: Order Effect, Normative Theories, and Experimental Methodology. Mind and Society 6 (1):53-66.
    The Bayesian model is used in psychology as the reference for the study of dynamic probability judgment. The main limit induced by this model is that it confines the study of revision of degrees of belief to the sole situations of revision in which the universe is static (revising situations). However, it may happen that individuals have to revise their degrees of belief when the message they learn specifies a change of direction in the universe, which is considered as changing (...)
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  11. Guy Politzer (2007). A Test of Directional Entailment Properties of Classical Quantifiers Defined by the Theory of Generalised Quantifiers (Barwise and Cooper, 1981) is Described. Participants Had to Solve a Task Which Consisted of Four Kinds of Inference. In the First One, the Premise Was of the Type Q Hyponym Verb Blank Predicate, Where Q is a Classical Quantifier,(Eg, Some Cats Are []), and the Question Was to Indicate What, If Anything, Can Be Concluded by Filling Up the Slots In........ Hyperonym Verb Blank Predicate (Eg. [REVIEW] Journal of Semantics 24 (4):331-343.
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  12. Guy Politzer (2007). Reasoning with Conditionals. Topoi 26 (1):79-95.
    This paper reviews the psychological investigation of reasoning with conditionals, putting an emphasis on recent work. In the first part, a few methodological remarks are presented. In the second part, the main theories of deductive reasoning (mental rules, mental models, and the probabilistic approach) are considered in turn; their content is summarised and the semantics they assume for if and the way they explain formal conditional reasoning are discussed, in particular in the light of experimental work on the probability of (...)
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  13. Jean Baratgin & Guy Politzer (2006). Is the Mind Bayesian? The Case for Agnosticism. Mind and Society 5 (1):1-38.
    This paper aims to make explicit the methodological conditions that should be satisfied for the Bayesian model to be used as a normative model of human probability judgment. After noticing the lack of a clear definition of Bayesianism in the psychological literature and the lack of justification for using it, a classic definition of subjective Bayesianism is recalled, based on the following three criteria: an epistemic criterion, a static coherence criterion and a dynamic coherence criterion. Then it is shown that (...)
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  14. Guy Politzer & J.-F. Bonnefon (2006). Two Varieties of Conditionals and Two Kinds of Defeaters Help Reveal Two Fundamental Types of Reasoning. Mind and Language 21 (4):484-503.
    Two notions from philosophical logic and linguistics are brought together and applied to the psychological study of defeasible conditional reasoning. The distinction between disabling conditions and alternative causes is shown to be a special case of Pollock's (1987) distinction between ‘rebutting' and ‘undercutting' defeaters. ‘Inferential' conditionals are shown to come in two types, one that is sensitive to rebutters, the other to undercutters. It is thus predicted and demonstrated in two experiments that the type of inferential conditional used as the (...)
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  15. Guy Politzer & Jean-françois Bonnefon (2006). Two Varieties of Conditionals and Two Kinds of Defeaters Help Reveal Two Fundamental Types of Reasoning. Mind and Language 21 (4):484–503.
    Two notions from philosophical logic and linguistics are brought together and applied to the psychological study of defeasible conditional reasoning. The distinction between disabling conditions and alternative causes is shown to be a special case of Pollock's (1987) distinction between 'rebutting' and 'undercutting' defeaters. 'Inferential' conditionals are shown to come in two varieties, one that is sensitive to rebutters, the other to undercutters. It is thus predicted and demonstrated in two experiments that the type of inferential conditional used as the (...)
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  16. Guy Politzer, Jean‐Baptiste Henst, Claire Delle Luche & Ira A. Noveck (2006). The Interpretation of Classically Quantified Sentences: A Set‐Theoretic Approach. Cognitive Science 30 (4):691-723.
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  17. Guy Politzer, Jean-Baptiste Van Der Henst, Claire Delle Luche & Ira Noveck (2006). The Interpretation of Classically Quantified Sentences: A Set-Theoretic Approach. Cognitive Science 30 (4):691-723.
    We present a set-theoretic model of the mental representation of classically quantified sentences (All P are Q, Some P are Q, Some P are not Q, and No P are Q). We take inclusion, exclusion, and their negations to be primitive concepts. It is shown that, although these sentences are known to have a diagrammatic expression (in the form of the Gergonne circles) which constitute a semantic representation, these concepts can also be expressed syntactically in the form of algebraic formulas. (...)
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  18. Jean Baratgin Guy Politzer & Guy Politzer (2006). CNRS Institut Jean Nicod, Paris, France. Mind and Society 5:1-38.
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  19. Guy Politzer (2005). Uncertainty and the Suppression of Inferences. Thinking and Reasoning 11 (1):5 – 33.
    The explanation of the suppression of Modus Ponens inferences within the framework of linguistic pragmatics and of plausible reasoning (i.e., deduction from uncertain premises) is defended. First, this approach is expounded, and then it is shown that the results of the first experiment of Byrne, Espino, and Santamar a (1999) support the uncertainty explanation but fail to support their counterexample explanation. Second, two experiments are presented. In the first one, aimed to refute one objection regarding the conclusions observed, the additional (...)
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  20. Guy Politzer (2003). No Problem for Aristotle's Subject and Predicate. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (3):298-299.
    It is argued that, in the traditional subject-predicate sentence, two interpretations of the subject term coexist, one intensional and the other extensional, which explains the superficial difference between the traditional S-P relation and the predication of predicate logic. Data from psychological studies of syllogistic reasoning support the view that the contrast between predicate and argument is carried over to the traditional S-P sentence.
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  21. Jean-Baptiste Van Der Henst, Dan Sperber & Guy Politzer (2002). When is a Conclusion Worth Deriving? A Relevance-Based Analysis of Indeterminate Relational Problems. Thinking and Reasoning 8 (1):1-20.
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  22. Jean-Baptiste Van Der Henst, Dan Sperber & Guy Politzer (2002). When is a Conclusion Worth Deriving? A Relevance-Based Analysis of Indeterminate Relational Problems. Thinking and Reasoning 8 (1):1 – 20.
    When is a conclusion worth deriving? We claim that a conclusion is worth deriving to the extent that it is relevant in the sense of relevance theory (Sperber & Wilson, 1995). To support this hypothesis, we experiment with ''indeterminate relational problems'' where we ask participants what, if anything, follows from premises such as A is taller than B, A is taller than C . With such problems, the indeterminate response that nothing follows is common, and we explain why. We distinguish (...)
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  23. Guy Politzer & Laure Carles (2001). Belief Revision and Uncertain Reasoning. Thinking and Reasoning 7 (3):217 – 234.
    When a new piece of information contradicts a currently held belief, one has to modify the set of beliefs in order to restore its consistency. In the case where it is necessary to give up a belief, some of them are less likely to be abandoned than others. The concept of epistemic entrenchment is used by some AI approaches to explain this fact based on formal properties of the belief set (e.g., transitivity). Two experiments were designed to test the hypothesis (...)
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  24. Guy Politzer & Laura Macchi (2000). Reasoning and Pragmatics. Mind and Society 1 (1):73-93.
    Language pragmatics is applied to analyse problem statements and instructions used in a few influential experimental tasks in the psychology of reasoning. This analysis aims to determine the interpretation of the task which the participant is likely to construct. It is applied to studies of deduction (where the interpretation of quantifiers and connectives is crucial) and to studies of inclusion judgment and probabilistic judgment. It is shown that the interpretation of the problem statements or even the representation of the task (...)
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  25. Guy Politzer & Martin D. S. Braine (1991). Responses to Inconsistent Premisses Cannot Count as Suppression of Valid Inferences. Cognition 38 (1):103-108.
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  26. Guy Politzer (1990). Characterizing Spontaneous Inferences. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (1):177-178.
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