The “Wason selection task” is still one of the most studied tasks in cognitive psychology. We argue that the low performance originally obtained seems to be caused by how the information of the task is presented. By systematically manipulating the task instructions, making explicit the information that participants are required to infer in accordance with the logical interpretation of the material implication “if, then”, we found an improvement in performance. In Experiment 1, the conditional rule has been formulated within a relevant context and in accordance with the conversational rules of communication, hence transmitting the actual meaning of the material implication. In Experiment 2, a similar improvement has been obtained even without the realistic scenario, only by making explicit the unidirectionality of the material implication. We conclude that task instructions are often formulate neglecting the conversational rules of communication, and this greatly reduces the possibility to succeed in the task.

Macchi, L., Caravona, L., Poli, F., Bagassi, M., Franchella, M. (2020). Speak your mind and I will make it right: the case of “selection task”. JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, 32(1), 93-107 [10.1080/20445911.2019.1707207].

Speak your mind and I will make it right: the case of “selection task”

Macchi L.;Caravona L.
;
Bagassi M.;
2020

Abstract

The “Wason selection task” is still one of the most studied tasks in cognitive psychology. We argue that the low performance originally obtained seems to be caused by how the information of the task is presented. By systematically manipulating the task instructions, making explicit the information that participants are required to infer in accordance with the logical interpretation of the material implication “if, then”, we found an improvement in performance. In Experiment 1, the conditional rule has been formulated within a relevant context and in accordance with the conversational rules of communication, hence transmitting the actual meaning of the material implication. In Experiment 2, a similar improvement has been obtained even without the realistic scenario, only by making explicit the unidirectionality of the material implication. We conclude that task instructions are often formulate neglecting the conversational rules of communication, and this greatly reduces the possibility to succeed in the task.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
logic; natural language; pragmatic approach; psychoretorical approach; Selection task
English
93
107
15
Macchi, L., Caravona, L., Poli, F., Bagassi, M., Franchella, M. (2020). Speak your mind and I will make it right: the case of “selection task”. JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, 32(1), 93-107 [10.1080/20445911.2019.1707207].
Macchi, L; Caravona, L; Poli, F; Bagassi, M; Franchella, M
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/259790
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