11 Pages

Perspective effects in deontic reasoning

The results obtained by Kroger et al. disconfirmed Jackson and Griggs' (1990) interpretation of facilitation in the selection task, instead supporting the predictions of PRS theory. Contrary to the implication of Jackson and Griggs' proposal, the presentation factors to which they assigned credit for facilitation of the abstract permission rule proved completely ineffective in enhancing accuracy for an arbitrary rule. Even when the arbitrary rule was clarified to eliminate a possible biconditional interpretation, performance was not improved. In contrast, even when the cards presented to subjects did not include explicit negatives, a small but reliable facilitation effect was still obtained for an abstract statement of the permission rule (22% of subjects selected the case stating the action was taken together with the case stating that a precondition other than the one mentioned in the rule had been fulfilled) relative to an arbitrary rule (6%). Thus, the fact that reliable facilitation can be obtained even for abstract deontic rules (as recently confirmed by Griggs & Cox, 1993) provides strong support for the view that the content effects consistently observed for conditional regulations in the selection task are due to the evocation of pragmatic schemas.