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Guy Politzer
Institut Jean Nicod
  1.  70
    Uncertainty and the de Finetti Tables.Jean Baratgin, David E. Over & Guy Politzer - 2013 - Thinking and Reasoning 19 (3-4):308-328.
    The new paradigm in the psychology of reasoning adopts a Bayesian, or prob- abilistic, model for studying human reasoning. Contrary to the traditional binary approach based on truth functional logic, with its binary values of truth and falsity, a third value that represents uncertainty can be introduced in the new paradigm. A variety of three-valued truth table systems are available in the formal literature, including one proposed by de Finetti. We examine the descriptive adequacy of these systems for natural language (...)
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  2.  91
    Betting on Conditionals.Jean Baratgin, David E. Over & Guy Politzer - 2010 - 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.  24
    Deductive Schemas with Uncertain Premises Using Qualitative Probability Expressions.Guy Politzer & Jean Baratgin - 2016 - Thinking and Reasoning 22 (1):78-98.
    ABSTRACTThe new paradigm in the psychology of reasoning redirects the investigation of deduction conceptually and methodologically because the premises and the conclusion of the inferences are assumed to be uncertain. A probabilistic counterpart of the concept of logical validity and a method to assess whether individuals comply with it must be defined. Conceptually, we used de Finetti's coherence as a normative framework to assess individuals' performance. Methodologically, we presented inference schemas whose premises had various levels of probability that contained non-numerical (...)
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  4.  4
    Responses to Inconsistent Premisses Cannot Count as Suppression of Valid Inferences.Guy Politzer & Martin D. S. Braine - 1991 - Cognition 38 (1):103-108.
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  5. Updating: A Psychologically Basic Situation of Probability Revision.Jean Baratgin & Guy Politzer - 2010 - 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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  6.  71
    Betting on Conditionals.Guy Politzer, David P. Over & Jean Baratgin - 2010 - 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.  86
    Is the Mind Bayesian? The Case for Agnosticism.Jean Baratgin & Guy Politzer - 2006 - 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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  8. Reasoning with Conditionals.Guy Politzer - 2007 - 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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  9.  83
    Uncertainty and the Suppression of Inferences.Guy Politzer - 2005 - 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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  10.  12
    Reasoning and Pragmatics.Guy Politzer & Laura Macchi - 2000 - 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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  11.  31
    Two Varieties of Conditionals and Two Kinds of Defeaters Help Reveal Two Fundamental Types of Reasoning.Guy Politzer & Jean-françois Bonnefon - 2006 - 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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  12. Belief Revision and Uncertain Reasoning.Guy Politzer & Laure Carles - 2001 - 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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  13.  81
    Pragmatics, Mental Models and One Paradox of the Material Conditional.Jean-François Bonnefon & Guy Politzer - 2011 - 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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  14.  28
    The New Paradigm and Mental Models.Jean Baratgin, Igor Douven, Jonathan StB. T. Evans, Mike Oaksford, David Over & Guy Politzer - 2015 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 19 (10):547-548.
  15.  36
    Deductive Reasoning Under Uncertainty: A Water Tank Analogy.Guy Politzer - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (3):479-506.
    This paper describes a cubic water tank equipped with a movable partition receiving various amounts of liquid used to represent joint probability distributions. This device is applied to the investigation of deductive inferences under uncertainty. The analogy is exploited to determine by qualitative reasoning the limits in probability of the conclusion of twenty basic deductive arguments often used as benchmark problems by the various theoretical approaches to reasoning under uncertainty. The probability bounds imposed by the premises on the conclusion are (...)
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  16.  13
    The Psychology of Dynamic Probability Judgment: Order Effect, Normative Theories, and Experimental Methodology.Jean Baratgin & Guy Politzer - 2007 - 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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  17.  15
    Deductive Reasoning Under Uncertainty: A Water Tank Analogy.Guy Politzer - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81:479-506.
    This paper describes a cubic water tank equipped with a movable partition receiving various amounts of liquid used to represent joint probability distributions. This device is applied to the investigation of deductive inferences under uncertainty. The analogy is exploited to determine by qualitative reasoning the limits in probability of the conclusion of twenty basic deductive arguments (such as Modus Ponens, And-introduction, Contraposition, etc.) often used as benchmark problems by the various theoretical approaches to reasoning under uncertainty. The probability bounds imposed (...)
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  18. Solving Categorical Syllogisms with Singular Premises.Hugo Mercier & Guy Politzer - 2008 - 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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  19.  16
    Two Varieties of Conditionals and Two Kinds of Defeaters Help Reveal Two Fundamental Types of Reasoning.Guy Politzer & J.-F. Bonnefon - 2006 - 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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  20.  41
    When is a Conclusion Worth Deriving? A Relevance-Based Analysis of Indeterminate Relational Problems.Jean-Baptiste Van Der Henst, Dan Sperber & Guy Politzer - 2002 - 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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  21.  8
    The Interpretation of Classically Quantified Sentences: A Set‐Theoretic Approach.Guy Politzer, Jean‐Baptiste Henst, Claire Delle Luche & Ira A. Noveck - 2006 - Cognitive Science 30 (4):691-723.
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  22. Could It Be the Case That If I Am Right My Opponents Will Be Pleased? A Rejoinder to Johnson-Laird, Byrne and Girotto.Guy Politzer - 2009 - Topoi 28 (1):81-85.
    I take up the four issues considered by Johnson -Laird, Byrne and Girotto in their reply to Politzer. Based on the conceptual clarification which they adduce, it seems that the disagreement can be settled about the first one and can be attenuated about the second one. However, I maintain and refine my criticisms on the last two, backed up by considerations borrowed from the perspective of the conditional probability semantics for conditionals.
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  23.  19
    Let Us Not Put the Probabilistic Cart Before the Uncertainty Bull.Guy Politzer & Jean-François Bonnefon - 2009 - 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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  24.  3
    The Interpretation of Classically Quantified Sentences: A Set-Theoretic Approach.Guy Politzer, Jean-Baptiste Van der Henst, Claire Delle Luche & Ira A. Noveck - 2006 - Cognitive Science 30 (4):691-723.
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  25.  38
    Solving Natural Syllogisms.Guy Politzer - 2010 - In D. Over K. Manktelow (ed.), The science of reason. Psychology Press. pp. 19-35.
    Natural syllogisms are expressed in terms of classes and properties of the real world. They exploit a categorisation present in semantic memory that provides a class inclusion structure. they are enthymematic and typically occur within a dialogue. Their form is identical to a formal syllogism once the minor premise is made explicit. It is claimed that reasoners routinely execute natural_syllogisms in an effortless manner based on ecthesis, which is primed by the class inclusion structure kept in long term memory.
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  26.  23
    Preadolescents Solve Natural Syllogisms Proficiently.Guy Politzer, Christelle Bosc-Miné & Emmanuel Sander - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (S5):1031-1061.
    “Natural syllogisms” are arguments formally identifiable with categorical syllogisms that have an implicit universal affirmative premise retrieved from semantic memory rather than explicitly stated. Previous studies with adult participants have shown that the rate of success is remarkably high. Because their resolution requires only the use of a simple strategy and an operational use of the concept of inclusion, it was hypothesized that these syllogisms would be within the grasp of non-adult participants, provided they have acquired the notion of deductive (...)
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  27.  4
    The Psychology of Uncertainty and Three-Valued Truth Tables.Jean Baratgin, Guy Politzer, David E. Over & Tatsuji Takahashi - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
    Psychological research on people’s understanding of natural language connectives has traditionally used truth table tasks, in which participants evaluate the truth or falsity of a compound sentence given the truth or falsity of its components in the framework of propositional logic. One perplexing result concerned the indicative conditional if A then C which was often evaluated as true when A and C are true, false when A is true and C is false but irrelevant“ (devoid of value) when A is (...)
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  28.  83
    No Problem for Aristotle's Subject and Predicate.Guy Politzer - 2003 - 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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  29.  11
    What Causes Failure to Apply the Pigeonhole Principle in Simple Reasoning Problems?Hugo Mercier, Guy Politzer & Dan Sperber - 2017 - Thinking and Reasoning 23 (2):184-189.
    The Pigeonhole Principle states that if n items are sorted into m categories and if n > m, then at least one category must contain more than one item. For instance, if 22 pigeons are put into 17 pigeonholes, at least one pigeonhole must contain more than one pigeon. This principle seems intuitive, yet when told about a city with 220,000 inhabitants none of whom has more than 170,000 hairs on their head, many people think that it is merely likely (...)
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  30.  5
    CNRS Institut Jean Nicod, Paris, France.Jean Baratgin Guy Politzer & Guy Politzer - 2006 - Mind and Society 5:1-38.
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  31.  4
    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]Guy Politzer - 2007 - Journal of Semantics 24 (4):331-343.
  32.  3
    Characterizing Spontaneous Inferences.Guy Politzer - 1990 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (1):177-178.
  33.  3
    The Interpretation of Classically Quantified Sentences: A Set-Theoretic Approach.Guy Politzer, Jean-Baptiste Van Der Henst, Claire Delle Luche & Ira Noveck - 2006 - 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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  34.  2
    Two Varieties of Conditionals and Two Kinds of Defeaters Help Reveal Two Fundamental Types of Reasoning.Guy Politzer & Jean-François Bonnefon - 2006 - 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 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 major (...)
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