Effect of thematic and pragmatic factors in conditional reasoning with narrative texts.


Valiña, M., Martín, M., Gehring, S. & Seoane, G.


The purpose of this investigation is to explore the importance of thematic and pragmatic factors in conditional inference tasks, included in narrative texts, which described plausible everyday situations. Content type (causal versus promise/ threat), text coherence (coherent versus non-coherent), the probability of empiric occurrence in conditional statements (deterministic, probabilistic and without specific relation), and the type of conditional rule (Modus Ponens, Modus Tollens, Affirmation of the Consequent and Denial of the Antecedent) were manipulated. Using an answer-selection paradigm, as well as choosing the conclusion, the subjects indicated the level of certainty with which they made their selection. The results showed that: (a) The subjects who reasoned with coherent texts obtained better results and declared feeling more certain of their answers than those who reasoned with incoherent texts; (b) when reasoning is carried out with deterministic statements, which always occur in the real world, the highest number of correct answers, as well as the highest level of certainty in the choice of answer, is achieved. (c) The content type did not register any principal effects, but significant interactive effects of this variable were obtained with text coherence. The results obtained were discussed within the framework of the principal current theoretical approaches to conditional reasoning.

Revista: Universitas Psychologica, 14(3), 1155-1166.

DOI: 10.11144/Javeriana.upsy14-3.eftp

Año: 2015