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Flashcards in Reasoning and Decision Making Deck (18):

Categorical Syllogisms

  • All As are Bs
  • All Bs are Cs
  • Therefore all As are this valid?


What does inductive reasoning ask?

  • is the conclusion possible given the premises?


What does deductive reasoning ask?

  • does the conclusion follow with certainty?
  • we should use deductive reasoning to consider decisions


Evans et al

  • for each syllogism, is conclusion possibly vs necessarily true?
  • use deductive reasoning
  • ps typically use inductive!


Mental Model Theory

  • We attempt to create a mental model of a world that satisfies all of the premises.
  • Then we inspect that model to determine the validity of a conclusion
  • FLAW= when the first model is valid, we overlook alternatives that might not satisfy all premises
    • All A are B
    • all B are C
    • There for some A are C


Real World implications of Inductive/Deductive

  • flawed estimates of probabilities of uncertain events or outcomes (Amos Tversky, Daniel Kahneman)
  • Dan Areilly


Base-Rate Neglect

  • Failing to take prior probabilities into account



  • failing to take new evidence into account
  • overreliance on base rates



  • specific rule of procedure for reasoning and preoblem solving, guarenteed to return correct answer if used correctly



  • rule of thumb, mental shortcuts
    • fast and easy approach
    • error prone
    • cognitive economy


Tversky and Kahnman 1974

  • make list of common reasoning error and the heuristics that may be responsible for them



  • judging the probability of an event by deciding how representative that event appears to be of the larger group of events from which it is drawn
  • ex) 5 consecutive coin tosses; which pattern is more likely?
    • HHHHH
    • HTHHT
  • Ps choose HTHHT because randomness seems more representative
  • ERROR=probabilities are identical
    • .5x.5x.5x.5.x.5



  • Judging the probability of some event on the basis of how easily examples or instances of the event can be retrieved from memory
  • ex) In english language, which are there more of?
    1. _ _ k _ _
    2. k _ _ _ _
  • people report #2 two times more
  • ex) Which are you more afraid of? Flying on an airplane or driving in a car?
    • Ps say airplane
    • vividness effect


Vividness Effect

  • when rare events are actually easier to retrieve
  • ex) airplane crashes, lots of news coverage


Anchoring and Adjustment

  • People are influenced by and inital anchor value, which may be unreliable, arbitrary, and adjustment is often insufficient
  • ex) Estimate $$ value of car
    • A= high mileage, dependable, clean
    • B= clean, dependable, high mileage
  • People tend to focus on earlier features
  • ex) Ps given 5 sec to estimate value
    • 1x2x3x4x5x6x7x8= 512
    • 8x7x6x5x4x3x2x1= 2250
  • correct for both= 40,320
  • both conditions adjust upwards


Hindsight Bias

  • The tendency to view what has already happened as "obvious" even though we wouldn't have predicted it prior to recieving outcome info
  • "I knew it all along!"


HB Study

  • Ps read "Patient considers a new operation, chances of survival are 50/50"
  • COND A= Ps informed that P chose surgery and dies
  • COND B= Ps recieved no outcome info
  • What would you recommend?
  • COND A is told to ignore outcome info when making decision
  • COND A didn't recommend, meaning they did not ignore as told.
  • COND B recomends surgery