Abstract/Details

Predicting the difficulty of predicate-logic inference problems: An empirical examination of a predicate-logic model


1996 1996

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Abstract (summary)

The present work empirically examined a model of mental predicate logic proposed by Braine (in press), and focused on (a) establishing that the inferences predicted by the model are in fact made routinely, and (b) predicting the relative degree of difficulty of predicate-logic inference problems. The core part of the model, consisting of 10 direct reasoning schemas, is examined. Two sets of test problems were constructed: One of 64 monadic predicate inference problems (Set A), another of 64 dyadic predicate problems (Set B) that were constructed in one-to-one correspondence with those of Set A. An additional Set C combined the 128 problems in Sets A and B. One set of analyses developed a parametric model for monadic predicate problems using problem Set A. A second set of analyses developed a parametric model for dyadic predicate problems using problem Set B. A third set of analyses assesses whether a single model for both monadic and dyadic predicate problems could be developed, or whether two separate models are required. These analyses used a combined Problem Set C. On each problem the subjects evaluated the truth of a conclusion given a set of premises, and then rated the perceived difficulty of the problem on a 7-point scale. Thus, nine sets of perceived difficulty ratings were obtained, and from them nine respective sets of predicted difficulties were generated. The data satisfied three general predictions: (a) few errors were made in judging the truth value of conclusions given to each problem; this shows that the inferences of the 10 direct reasoning schemas are generally available; (b) The difficulty of problems correlated with the number of inference steps required to solve them, as defined by the reasoning routine associated with the inferences; (c) Problem difficulty was even more closely correlated with the summed difficulties of those inferences. Of these, (c) was examined by both cross-sample and cross-model validations. Finally, a parsimonious model was developed which reduces the ten parameters to three parameters, corresponding to three subsets of schemas.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Psychology;
Experiments;
Cognitive therapy
Classification
0623: Psychology
0623: Experiments
0633: Cognitive therapy
Identifier / keyword
Psychology
Title
Predicting the difficulty of predicate-logic inference problems: An empirical examination of a predicate-logic model
Author
Yang, Yingrui
Number of pages
74
Publication year
1996
Degree date
1996
School code
0146
Source
DAI-B 58/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780591259421, 0591259427
Advisor
O'Brien, David P.; Snodgrass, Joan Gay
University/institution
New York University
University location
United States -- New York
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
9717810
ProQuest document ID
304255510
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304255510
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