NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ929202
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0285
Mental Models of Boolean Concepts
Goodwin, Geoffrey P.; Johnson-Laird, P. N.
Cognitive Psychology, v63 n1 p34-59 Aug 2011
Negation, conjunction, and disjunction are major building blocks in the formation of concepts. This article presents a new model-based theory of these Boolean components. It predicts that individuals simplify the models of instances of concepts. Evidence corroborates the theory and challenges alternative accounts, such as those based on minimal descriptions, algebraic complexity, or structural invariance. A computer program implementing the theory yields more accurate predictions than these rival accounts. Two experiments showed that the numbers of models of a Boolean concept predict the difficulty of formulating a description of it. As mental models may also underlie deductive reasoning, the present theory integrates two hitherto separate areas of investigation. (Contains 5 tables and 1 figure.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A