The effect of contextual factors on the judgement of informal reasoning fallacies

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Abstract

Informal reasoning fallacies are arguments that are psychologically persuasive but not valid. In order to judge the validity of these arguments one has to be sensitive to the context in which they appear. However, there is no empirical study that examines students' sensitivity to contextual factors and whether contextual factors actually influence their ability to identify informal reasoning fallacies. We hypothesized that when explicitly presented with different argumentative contexts, students' performance would reflect their sensitivity to the contextual nature of informal reasoning fallacies. The two experiments that we conducted support this hypothesis and emphasize the mediating role of perspective taking in students' ability to identify fallacious arguments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-425
Number of pages15
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Volume59
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2006

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