chapter  3
26 Pages

Content Effects in Wason's Selection Task

Questions about the nature of human reasoning have long been tied to questions about the ways in which problem content influences reasoning. Proposals concerning reasoning abilities range from postulating content-free rules to arguing that reasoning is tied to specific experiences (see, for example, Johnson-Laird & Byrne, 1991). Determining how reasoning changes with task content thus plays an important part in refining theoretical formulations. Although this paper will focus on content effects in Wason's selection task, I will first briefly review a topic with a longer history-namely, content effects in syllogistic reasoning.