Memory & Cognition

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 191–198

On the reality of the conjunction fallacy


  • Ashley Sides
    • Department of PsychologyRice University
    • Department of PsychologyRice University
  • Nicolao Bonini
    • Department of PsychologyRice University
  • Riccardo Viale
    • Department of PsychologyRice University

DOI: 10.3758/BF03195280

Cite this article as:
Sides, A., Osherson, D., Bonini, N. et al. Mem Cogn (2002) 30: 191. doi:10.3758/BF03195280


Attributing higher “probability” to a sentence of formp-and-q, relative top, is a reasoning fallacy only if (1) the wordprobability carries its modern, technical meaning and (2) the sentencep is interpreted as a conjunct of the conjunctionp-and-q. Legitimate doubts arise about both conditions in classic demonstrations of the conjunction fallacy. We used betting paradigms and unambiguously conjunctive statements to reduce these sources of ambiguity about conjunctive reasoning. Despite the precautions, conjunction fallacies were as frequent under betting instructions as under standard probability instructions.

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2002