Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Pragmatic Reasoning Schemas

  • Henry Markovits
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_656



Pragmatic reasoning schemas are linguistically based contextual schemas that have an underlying structure that is determined by people’s interpretations of classes of events. This structure determines the kinds of inferences that people make with different schemas corresponding to different logical patterns.

Theoretical Background

The notion of pragmatic reasoning schemas was first proposed by Cheng and Holyoak in 1985as a way of synthesizing research into the Wason selection task. This is a reasoning task proposed by Peter Wason in 1965 as a way of showing the difficulty many educated adults have in reasoning according to the rules of logic. The standard task presents people with a conditional rule, of the form “If there is a vowel on one side of the card, then there will be an even number on the other side”. They are then shown four cards which have (1) a vowel, (2) a consonant, (3) an even...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontrealCanada