How many processes underline category-based induction? Effect of conclusion specificity and cognitive ability

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Abstract

Two studies investigated participants' sensitivity to the amount and diversity of the evidence when reasoning inductively about categories. Both showed that participants are more sensitive to characteristics of the evidence for arguments with general rather than specific conclusions. Both showed an association between cognitive ability and sensitivity to these evidence characteristics, particularly when the conclusion category was general. These results suggest that a simple associative process may not be sufficient to capture some key phenomena of category-based induction. They also support the claim that the need to generate a superordinate category is a complicating factor in category-based reasoning and that adults' tendency to generate such categories while reasoning has been overestimated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1830-1839
Number of pages10
JournalMemory & Cognition
Volume35
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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