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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Question-answer dynamics in deductive fallacies without language


We introduce purely visual paradigms that convey the logical structure of illusory inferences from disjunction: (a AND b) OR c, a |- b. Although the logical information was conveyed entirely via non-linguistic means, we found that the visual paradigms induce reasoning fallacies, though less attractive than their linguistic counterparts. The visual paradigms highlight the role of alternative-based reasoning, or question-answer dynamics, as they control for narrowly interpretive processes that confound the study of their linguistic counterparts. To our knowledge, this is the first work to develop visual paradigms that represent reasoning fallacies committed by adults and involve multiple logical operators non-trivially embedded. Previous studies focused on pre-verbal children or non-human animals, and for this reason limited the scope of research to visually representing logically simple, valid inferences.

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