Linguistic barriers to logical reasoning: a new perspective on Aristotelian syllogisms

Experimental studies investigating logical reasoning performance show very high error rates of up to 80% and more. Previous research identified scalar inferences of the sentences of logical arguments as a major error source. We present new analytical tools to quantify the impact of scalar inferences on syllogistic reasoning. Our proposal builds on a new classification of Aristotelian syllogisms and a closely linked classification of reasoning behaviors/strategies. We argue that the variation in error rates across syllogistic reasoning tasks is in part due to individual variation: reasoners follow different reasoning strategies and these strategies play out differently for syllogisms of different classes.

Haida A, Crnic, L, Grodzinsky, Y.
Year of publication
Proceedings of "Sinn und Bedeutung 22"