Conditional reasoning

Sandra L. Marcus, Lance J. Rips*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Several techniques have been developed to examine how people understand conditional sentences. However, these techniques have produced different conclusions about if ... then. The present experiments examined two of them, the Conditional Evaluation task and the Conditional Syllogism task, to determine the cause of these differences. In Experiment 1, we collected Evaluation and Syllogism judgments from the same subjects and for the same sentences. The results showed more material conditional responses in the Evaluation than in the Syllogism task. Experiment 2 replicated this finding in a situation where subjects' reaction times were recorded. From these studies, we propose a quantitative model to explain the Evaluation-Syllogism difference in terms of the more complex processing requirements imposed by the Syllogism task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-223
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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