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ERIC Number: EJ1162650
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0163-853X
Belief in the Claim of an Argument Increases Perceived Argument Soundness
Wolfe, Michael B.; Kurby, Christopher A.
Discourse Processes: A multidisciplinary journal, v54 n8 p599-617 2017
We examined subjects' ability to judge the soundness of informal arguments. The argument claims matched or did not match subject beliefs. In all experiments subjects indicated beliefs about spanking and television violence in a prescreening. Subjects read one-sentence arguments consisting of a claim followed by a reason and then judged the soundness of the argument. Signal detection theory analyses were used to examine discrimination performance and response bias. In Experiment 1 discrimination was not predicted by beliefs, but subjects were biased in favor of rejecting arguments as unsound when the claim was inconsistent with their beliefs compared with when it was consistent. In Experiments 2 and 3 we replicated these effects and examined neutral subjects and reasoning ability as factors. The results suggest that belief or disbelief in an argument claim biases students' judgments of the argument's soundness.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A