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.

Authors: Haida A, Crnic, L, Grodzinsky, Y.
Year of publication: 2018
Journal: Proceedings of "Sinn und Bedeutung 22"

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