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Type: Journal article
Title: Why is logic so likeable? A single-process account of argument evaluation with logic and liking judgments
Author: Hayes, B.K.
Wei, P.
Dunn, J.C.
Stephens, R.G.
Citation: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 2019; 46(4):699-719
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 0278-7393
Statement of
Brett K. Hayes, Peggy Wei, John C. Dunn, Rachel G. Stephens
Abstract: Four experiments examined the claims that people can intuitively assess the logical validity of arguments, and that qualitatively different reasoning processes drive intuitive and explicit validity assessments. In each study participants evaluated arguments varying in validity and believability using either deductive criteria (logic task) or via an intuitive, affective response (liking task). Experiment 1 found that people are sensitive to argument validity on both tasks, with valid arguments receiving higher liking as well as higher deductive ratings than invalid arguments. However, the claim that this effect is driven by logical intuitions was challenged by the finding that sensitivity to validity in both liking and logic tasks was affected in similar ways by manipulations of concurrent memory load (Experiments 1 and 2) and variations in individual working memory capacity (Experiments 3 and 4). In both tasks better discrimination between valid and invalid arguments was found when more working memory resources were available. Formal signal detection models of reasoning were tested against the experimental data using signed difference analysis (Stephens, Dunn, & Hayes, 2018b). A single-process reasoning model which assumes that argument evaluation in both logic and liking tasks involves a single latent dimension for assessing argument strength but different response criteria for each task, was found to be consistent with the data from each experiment (as were some dual-process models). The experimental and modeling results confirm that people are sensitive to argument validity in both explicit logic and affect rating tasks, but that these results can be explained by a single underlying reasoning process.
Keywords: Dual-process theories; intuition; reasoning; signal detection theory
Rights: © 2019 American Psychological Association
DOI: 10.1037/xlm0000753
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