Even if after If then conditionals


This study evaluates how people represent “even if” conditionals when they have to integrate them with previous “if then” conditionals and also make an inference. The terms in the premises were ordered to facilitate their integration (Figure 1: If A then B; Even if B C). In half the cases, the “even if” conditional was expressed with a negation instead of an affirmation (If A then B; Even if not B C). Participants had to infer what followed, given A or C. Previous results showed that in comprehension tasks, where information had to be integrated, counterfactual conditionals seemed to be represented with just one situation (B and C). By contrast, when people had to make inferences with these conditionals, they seemed to represent two situations. In any case, counterfactual seem to be represented with two situations (B and C, and not B and C). In our task, people had to do both: to infer and to integrate. Results showed that the use of negations and the direction in the inference had an effect on the endorsed inferences, but the two factors did not interact. The need to integrate premises did not block access to the two “even if” situations in an inference task

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