chapter  9
28 Pages

Finding Logic in Human Reasoning Requires Looking in the Right Places

Since its introduction (Wason, 1966; 1968) the selection task has been the most investigated logical reasoning problem in the psychological literature, generating richly interesting data and providing evidence in support of several major theoretical proposals. Evans (1982, p. 187) wrote that the selection task "has been more productive of psychologically interesting findings and theories than work with any other reasoning paradigm. The experiments have shown an extraordinary capability for illogical reasoning in intelligent adults." In spite of its prominent role in the deductivereasoning literature, some leading mental-logic advocates have argued that the selection task is outside the concerns of their theories (e.g. Braine & Rumain, 1983; Rips, 1990). This reluctance by mental-logic advocates to address the selection task has been criticised (e.g. Evans, 1992) as placing mental-logic research outside the mainstream.