Deduction without awareness

Reverberi C, Pischedda D, Burigo M, Cherubini P (2011)
Acta Psychologica 139(1): 244-253.

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Zeitschriftenaufsatz | Veröffentlicht | Englisch
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Abstract / Bemerkung
We investigated whether two basic forms of deductive inference, Modus Ponens and Disjunctive Syllogism, occur automatically and without awareness. In Experiment 1, we used a priming paradigm with a set of conditional and disjunctive problems. For each trial, two premises were shown. The second premise was presented at a rate designed to be undetectable. After each problem, participants had to evaluate whether a newly-presented target number was odd or even. The target number matched or did not match a conclu- sion endorsed by the two previous premises. We found that when the target matched the conclusion of a Modus Ponens inference, the evaluation of the target number was reliably faster than baseline even when participants reported that they were not aware of the second premise. This priming effect did not occur for any other valid or invalid inference that we tested, including the Disjunctive Syllogism. In Experiment 2, we used a forced-choice paradigm in which we found that some participants were able to access some in- formation on the second premise when their attention was explicitly directed to it. In Experiment 3, we showed that the priming effect for Modus Ponens was present also in subjects who could not access any information about P2. In Experiment 4 we explored whether spatial relations (e.g., “a before b”) or sen- tences with quantifiers (e.g., “all a with b”) could generate a priming effect similar to the one observed for Modus Ponens. A priming effect could be found for Modus Ponens only, but not for the other relations tested. These findings show that the Modus Ponens inference, in contrast to other deductive inferences, can be carried out automatically and unconsciously. Furthermore, our findings suggest that critical deduc- tive inference schemata can be included in the range of high-level cognitive activities that are carried out unconsciously.
Acta Psychologica


Reverberi C, Pischedda D, Burigo M, Cherubini P. Deduction without awareness. Acta Psychologica. 2011;139(1):244-253.
Reverberi, C., Pischedda, D., Burigo, M., & Cherubini, P. (2011). Deduction without awareness. Acta Psychologica, 139(1), 244-253. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2011.09.011
Reverberi, C., Pischedda, D., Burigo, M., and Cherubini, P. (2011). Deduction without awareness. Acta Psychologica 139, 244-253.
Reverberi, C., et al., 2011. Deduction without awareness. Acta Psychologica, 139(1), p 244-253.
C. Reverberi, et al., “Deduction without awareness”, Acta Psychologica, vol. 139, 2011, pp. 244-253.
Reverberi, C., Pischedda, D., Burigo, M., Cherubini, P.: Deduction without awareness. Acta Psychologica. 139, 244-253 (2011).
Reverberi, Carlo, Pischedda, Doris, Burigo, Michele, and Cherubini, Paolo. “Deduction without awareness”. Acta Psychologica 139.1 (2011): 244-253.

6 Zitationen in Europe PMC

Daten bereitgestellt von Europe PubMed Central.

Precursors of logical reasoning in preverbal human infants.
Cesana-Arlotti N, Martín A, Téglás E, Vorobyova L, Cetnarski R, Bonatti LL., Science 359(6381), 2018
PMID: 29590076
Working memory in healthy aging and in Parkinson's disease: evidence of interference effects.
Di Rosa E, Pischedda D, Cherubini P, Mapelli D, Tamburin S, Burigo M., Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn 24(3), 2017
PMID: 27362220
Nothing new under the sun, or the moon, or both.
Bonatti LL, Cherubini P, Reverberi C., Front Hum Neurosci 9(), 2015
PMID: 26578932


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