Complexity of categorical syllogisms: An integration of two metrics

Zielinski, Tracey A., Goodwin, Geoggrey P. and Halford, Graeme S. (2010) Complexity of categorical syllogisms: An integration of two metrics. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 22 3: 391-421. doi:10.1080/09541440902830509

Author Zielinski, Tracey A.
Goodwin, Geoggrey P.
Halford, Graeme S.
Title Complexity of categorical syllogisms: An integration of two metrics
Journal name European Journal of Cognitive Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2044-5911
Publication date 2010-05-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/09541440902830509
Open Access Status
Volume 22
Issue 3
Start page 391
End page 421
Total pages 31
Place of publication E Sussex, U.K.
Publisher Psychology Press
Language eng
Abstract The complexity of categorical syllogisms was assessed using the relational complexity metric, which is based on the number of entities that are related in a single cognitive representation. This was compared with number of mental models in an experiment in which adult participants solved all 64 syllogisms. Both metrics accounted for similarly large proportions of the variance, showing that complexity depends on the number of categories that are related in a representation of the combined premises, whether represented in multiple mental models, or by a single model. This obviates the difficulty with mental models theory due to equivocal evidence for construction of more than one mental model. The ‘‘no valid conclusion’’ response was used for complex syllogisms that had valid conclusions. The results are interpreted as showing that the relational complexity metric can be applied to syllogistic reasoning, and can be integrated with mental models theory, which together account for a wide range of cognitive performances. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
Keyword Relational complexity
Mental models
Categorical syllogisms
Deductive reasoning
Reasoning strategies
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes First published online September 2009

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Created: Sun, 30 May 2010, 10:05:28 EST