Picture water droplets

Developing mathematical theories of the physical world: Open Access research on fluid dynamics from Strathclyde

Strathprints makes available Open Access scholarly outputs by Strathclyde's Department of Mathematics & Statistics, where continuum mechanics and industrial mathematics is a specialism. Such research seeks to understand fluid dynamics, among many other related areas such as liquid crystals and droplet evaporation.

The Department of Mathematics & Statistics also demonstrates expertise in population modelling & epidemiology, stochastic analysis, applied analysis and scientific computing. Access world leading mathematical and statistical Open Access research!

Explore all Strathclyde Open Access research...

Social cognition and the so-called conjunction fallacy

Davies, John B. and Anderson, A. and Little, Dawn (2011) Social cognition and the so-called conjunction fallacy. Current Psychology, 30 (3). pp. 245-257. ISSN 1046-1310

[img] Microsoft Word (DaviesAndersonLittleAbstract.docx)
DaviesAndersonLittleAbstract.docx
Accepted Author Manuscript

Download (11kB)

Abstract

The so-called 'conjunction effect', in which participants incorrectly assert that an instance from the conjunction of two sets is more probable than an instance from one of the two conjoining sets alone, has been a source of debate as to whether it is a genuine fallacy of individual thinking or not. We argue that reasoning about individuals follows a different process than reasoning about sets. 35 participants took part in 3 tasks: a) one involving blocks of different sizes and colours designed to evoke set-based reasoning, b) one where a particular block was 'individuated' by stating that it represented a particular person, and c) the original Tversky and Kahneman (1988) 'Linda' problem. As predicted, set-based reasoning was significantly more prevalent for the blocks task than for the other two tasks. Participants' reasons for their choices suggest that some individuals correctly use set-based logic in one task and a much more social reasoning process for the other tasks.