Modeling Human Syllogistic Reasoning: The Role of "No Valid Conclusion"

Abstract"No Valid Conclusion" (NVC) is one of the most frequently selected responses in syllogistic reasoning experiments and corresponds to the logically correct conclusion for 58\% of the syllogistic problem domain. Still, NVC is often neglected in computational models or just treated as a byproduct of the underlying inferential mechanisms such as a last resort when the search for alternatives is exhausted. We illustrate that NVC represents a major shortcoming of current models for human syllogistic reasoning. By introducing heuristic rules, we demonstrate that slight extensions of the existing models result in substantial improvements of their predictive performances. Our results illustrate the need for better NVC handling in cognitive modeling and provide directions for modelers on how to integrate it into their approaches.

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