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Análise Psicológica

Print version ISSN 0870-8231


QUELHAS, Ana Cristina; JUHOS, Csongor; SENOS, Jorge  and  ROCHA, Teresa Almeida. Desenvolvimento do raciocínio condicional e modelos mentais. Aná. Psicológica [online]. 1999, vol.17, n.4, pp.695-711. ISSN 0870-8231.

According to the mental models theory (Johnson-Laird, 1983; Johnson-Laird & Byrne, 1991) the interpretation of a conditional sentence of the kind If p then q creates the initial models: p q ... where the three dots represent a model without explicit content. The complete representation of the conditional has the following explicit models: p q ¬p ¬q ¬p q where "¬" is used to indicate a negation. Based on the mental models, which advocate that the greater the number of explicit models needed, the more difficult is an inference, it is possible to consider hypotheses about the differences in the difficulty level in inferences with the four conditional syllogisms. In the experiment described, our goal is to test those hypotheses in subjects of different ages (8, 11 and 15 years old). Based on the results, we present hypotheses about the progressive development of the capacity to represent the three mental models in conditional sentences interpretation. We also want to emphasise the differences in the answers of the subjects, that are a consequence of the differences in the content of the conditional sentences. Our last goal is to explore the differences in the answers by subjects of two nationalities (Portuguese and Hungarian). Thus, the group of independent variables defines a mixed factorial design 2X3X2X4 (Nationality X Age X Content X Syllogism), since the last variable is within subjects.

Keywords : Conditional syllogisms; Mental models theory; Development of reasoning.

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