, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 165–181 | Cite as

On the processing of arguments

  • James F. Voss
  • Rebecca Fincher-Kiefer
  • Jennifer Wiley
  • Laurie Ney Silfies


This paper is concerned with the processing of informal arguments, that is, arguments involving “probable truth.” A model of informal argument processing is presented that is based upon Hample's (1977) expansion of Toulmin's (1958) model of argument structure. The model postulates that a claim activates an attitude, the two components forming a complex that in turn activates reasons. Furthermore, the model holds occurrence of the reason, or possibly the claim and the reason, activates values. Three experiments are described that provide support for the model.

Key words

Argument argumentation pro and con reasons value-based arguments attitude social issues justification argument processing informal reasoning representation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • James F. Voss
    • 1
  • Rebecca Fincher-Kiefer
    • 1
  • Jennifer Wiley
    • 1
  • Laurie Ney Silfies
    • 1
  1. 1.Learning Research and Development CenterUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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