The processing of negations in conditional reasoning: A meta-analytic case study in mental model and/or mental logic theory

Thinking and Reasoning 7 (2):121 – 172 (2001)
We present a meta-analytic review on the processing of negations in conditional reasoning about affirmation problems (Modus Ponens: "MP", Affirmation of the Consequent "AC") and denial problems (Denial of the Antecedent "DA", and Modus Tollens "MT"). Findings correct previous generalisations about the phenomena. First, the effects of negation in the part of the conditional about which an inference is made, are not constrained to denial problems. These inferential-negation effects are also observed on AC. Second, there generally are reliable effects of a negation in the clause referred to by the categorical premise, and these referred-negation effects are constrained to the logically fallacious AC and DA inferences. All findings are presented and discussed in relation to contemporary mental model (MM) and mental logic (ML) theories. It is argued that a double-negation elimination hypothesis provides a sufficient explanation of inferential-negation effects within both MM theory and ML theory, if the latter is extended by a validating search for counter examples. Both MM and ML theories adhere to a processing scheme that allows them to incorporate an account of referred-negation effects based on the thesis that counter-example frequency is modulated by the scope of a contrast class delineated by a false affirmative. We conclude that MM and ML theories provide adequate processing schemes to accommodate for the explanatory hypotheses, at least in principle. In practice, both approaches remain equivocal as regards the connectivity and interactivity with long-term memory knowledge invoked in generating, manipulating, and testing the mental representations of negative state of affairs.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,224
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

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index

Total downloads
16 ( #305,427 of 2,191,991 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #289,023 of 2,191,991 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature