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ERIC Number: EJ859937
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 73
ISSN: ISSN-0033-295X
A Theory of Utility Conditionals: Paralogical Reasoning from Decision-Theoretic Leakage
Bonnefon, Jean-Francois
Psychological Review, v116 n4 p888-907 Oct 2009
Many "if p, then q" conditionals have decision-theoretic features, such as antecedents or consequents that relate to the utility functions of various agents. These decision-theoretic features leak into reasoning processes, resulting in various paralogical conclusions. The theory of utility conditionals offers a unified account of the various forms that this phenomenon can take. The theory is built on 2 main components: (1) a representational tool (the utility grid), which summarizes in compact form the decision-theoretic features of a conditional, and (2) a set of folk axioms of decision, which reflect reasoners' beliefs about the way most agents make their decisions. Applying the folk axioms to the utility grid of a conditional allows for the systematic prediction of the paralogical conclusions invited by the utility grid's decision-theoretic features. The theory of utility conditionals significantly extends the scope of current theories of conditional inference and moves reasoning research toward a greater integration with decision-making research. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A