• Negations in syllogistic reasoning: Evidence for a heuristic–analytic conflict

      Stupple, Edward J. N.; Waterhouse, Eleanor F.; University of Derby (2009-08)
      An experiment utilizing response time measures was conducted to test dominant processing strategies in syllogistic reasoning with the expanded quantifier set proposed by Roberts (2005). Through adding negations to existing quantifiers it is possible to change problem surface features without altering logical validity. Biases based on surface features such as atmosphere, matching, and the probability heuristics model (PHM; Chater & Oaksford, 1999; Wetherick & Gilhooly, 1995) would not be expected to show variance in response latencies, but participant responses should be highly sensitive to changes in the surface features of the quantifiers. In contrast, according to analytic accounts such as mental models theory and mental logic (e.g., Johnson-Laird & Byrne, 1991; Rips, 1994) participants should exhibit increased response times for negated premises, but not be overly impacted upon by the surface features of the conclusion. Data indicated that the dominant response strategy was based on a matching heuristic, but also provided evidence of a resource-demanding analytic procedure for dealing with double negatives. The authors propose that dual-process theories offer a stronger account of these data whereby participants employ competing heuristic and analytic strategies and fall back on a heuristic response when analytic processing fails.