Truth Table Tasks: Directionality and Negation-Type


Two truth table task types are used examining people’s mental representation of conditionals: possibilities-tasks and truth-tasks. Despite their high degree of resemblance, both task types not only differ regarding their number of answer alternatives, but also regarding their directionality: The truth task concerns the evaluation of the given rule on the basis of situations, while the possibilities task concerns the assessment of situations with respect to the given rule. The aim of the present study is to assess whether participants’ answer patterns depend on the difference in directionality when the difference in number of answer alternatives is controlled for. Moreover, both implicit and explicit negations are used. Concerning the negation type, we find more three-valued patterns with implicit than with explicit negations. It was replicated that possibilities-tasks yield more two-valued answer patterns than truth-tasks, which in turn yield more three-valued patterns than possibilities-tasks. No effect of task directionality was observed.

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