Is human reasoning about nonmonotonic conditionals probabilistically coherent?
In Proceedings of the 7 T H Workshop on Uncertainty Processing. pp. 138--150 (2006)
Nonmonotonic conditionals (A |∼ B) are formalizations of common sense expressions of the form “if A, normally B”. The nonmonotonic conditional is interpreted by a “high” coherent conditional probability, P(B|A) > .5. Two important properties are closely related to the nonmonotonic conditional: First, A |∼ B allows for exceptions. Second, the rules of the nonmonotonic system p guiding A |∼ B allow for withdrawing conclusions in the light of new premises. This study reports a series of three experiments on reasoning with inference rules about nonmonotonic conditionals in the framework of coherence. We investigated the cut, and the right weakening rule of system p. As a critical condition, we investigated basic monotonic properties of classical (monotone) logic, namely monotonicity, transitivity, and contraposition. The results suggest that people reason nonmonotonically rather than monotonically. We propose nonmonotonic reasoning as a competence model of human reasoning
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