Utility conditionals as consequential arguments: A random sampling experiment


Research on reasoning about consequential arguments has been an active but piecemeal enterprise. Previous research considered in depth some subclasses ofconsequential arguments, but further understanding of consequential arguments requires that we address their greater variety, avoiding the risk of over-generalisation from specific examples. Ideally we ought to be able to systematically generate the set of consequential arguments, and then engage in random sampling of stimuli within that set. The current article aims at making steps in that direction, using the theory of utility conditionals as a way to generate a large set of consequential arguments, and offering one study illustrating how the theory can be used for the random sampling of stimuli. Itis expected that further use of this method will bring more diversity to experimental research on consequential arguments, and more robustness to models of argumentation from consequences.

Thinking and Reasoning
JF Bonnefon
JF Bonnefon
Behavioral Scientist