Thinking and Reasoning 9 (4):307 – 333 (2003)

Two experiments, using a mock legal case, confirmed the causal role of arguments in verdict decisions and explored the process involved. Experiment 1 showed that verdicts varied with the strength of counter-arguments and Experiment 2 showed that the use of background information that undermined such arguments determined the verdict reached. Such results confirm the causal role of arguments but do not speak to the representations constructed. In both experiments we analysed the reasons proposed for verdicts. Participants generally represented the state of affairs, and conjectured state of affairs, to which the arguments referred. Experiment 2 also asked participants about the number of causal possibilities they envisaged. Confidence in the verdict was moderated by the strength of counter-arguments but in different ways for those who envisaged a single causal account as opposed to two causal accounts. In the former case, confidence decreased with the rated strength of counter-arguments. In the latter case, confidence increased. We suggest that verdicts are abductive explanations of the events generated through a process of mental simulation.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/1354678034000268
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,703
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Mental Simulation and Argument.David W. Green, Ronit Applebaum & Simon Tong - 2006 - Thinking and Reasoning 12 (1):31 – 61.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
27 ( #411,599 of 2,462,532 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,311 of 2,462,532 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes