The Role of Context and Semantics in Reasoning:Understanding the Normative/Descriptive Gap
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It has been found through experimentation, that often people can suppress logically valid inferences. When additional or alternative information is added to a combination of premises depicting the same kind of inference that was at first thought logically valid, people reason to different conclusions in a manner that seems irrational. The Suppression task is a practical example in which one can observe the divergence between human thinking and first-order Logic. In this research, a within-subject design experiment was devised in a form of a simple questionnaire that was distributed online through Google Forms. The experiment focused on exposing the role of context and semantics in reasoning, especially in syllogistic tasks that involve mathematical inferences. The experimental results are reported, along with some exploratory analysis and an extensive literature review on the main causes of the Normative/Descriptive gap.