Questions and challenges for the new psychology of reasoning

Thinking and Reasoning 18 (1):5 - 31 (2012)
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Abstract

In common with a number of other authors I believe that there has been a paradigm shift in the psychology of reasoning, specifically the area traditionally labelled as the study of deduction. The deduction paradigm was founded in a philosophical tradition that assumed logicality as the basis for rational thought, and provided binary propositional logic as the agreed normative framework. By contrast, many contemporary authors assume that people have degrees of uncertainty in both premises and conclusions, and reject binary logic as a workable normative system. I discuss a number of questions and challenges for this new psychology of reasoning, including the following: (a) Do we need an alternative normative system, such as Bayesianism, for the new paradigm? (b) Is there any longer a clear distinction between the study of deductive and inductive reasoning, the latter having its own tradition and literature? (c) Precisely how is the integrated study of reasoning and decision making facilitated by the new paradigm? (d) What difficulties with dual-processing approaches need to be resolved, if they are to take us forward?

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