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Abstract The notion that human beings have the capacity for two different modes of thought, an effortless, intuitive, heuristic mode and an effortful, logical, analytic mode, is a profound one which goes to the very nature of our consciousness. This study uses the belief bias effect in syllogistic reasoning to determine the relationship between two individual differences; working memory capacity and need for cognition, and the propensity to use one or the other system of thought. A correlational design was used. An opportunity sample of 115 participants took part in the study which consisted of a pencil and paper syllogistic reasoning task and a short form of the need for cognition scale (Cacioppo, Petty, & Feng Kao, 1984), and an online operation span (OSPAN) task (Krantz, 2008). It was found that both need for cognition and working memory correlated positively with the ability to avoid belief bias errors. When confined to a model the amount that each predicted the ability to avoid belief bias was additive, the model explaining 30% of the variance in belief inhibition. Findings are explained in terms of dual-processing theory; those with greater need for cognition are more inclined to use the analytic processing as they take greater enjoyment from it, those with a larger working memory capacity are as likely to use analytic or heuristic processing as those with a smaller working memory capacity but have more effective analytic and heuristic systems. As an aside to this, participants degree of certainty to items on the syllogistic reasoning task were analysed as an indication of participants ability to detect conflict between logic and belief, although a significant result was found, possible methodological issues limited the interpretation of this part of the study.
General Introduction The idea that humans have the capacity for two qualitatively different modes of thinking is a profound one. It is perhaps the one attribute that sets us apart from other animals. Although monikers and details vary, the concept of duality in human thought process
is universal. The first formal theory was posited by William James in 1890 (James, 1890) but dual-processing theory in its current form was first put forward by Newell and Simon (1972) who named the two systems “heuristic” and “universal” and used them in regard to problem solving. They stated that people will use the heuristic mechanism, finding the solution to a problem from the application of past experience, whenever this is possible. If the problem faced is novel, the heuristic system fails as there is no previous experience to relate it to, then the universal system is used whereby innovative solutions are generated. Stanovich and West (1982) built upon this theory relating it to human judgement and reasoning rather than problem solving. They named the two modes of thought System 1 and System 2 processing and these terms have fairly stuck in the literature. System 1 processing, related to Newell and Simon’s heuristics, is characterised by fast, intuitive judgements requiring of little cognitive effort. System 2, related to the universal system of Newell and Simon, is characterised by slow, effortful, serial processing which requires a greater degree of cognitive effort (De Neys, 2006b), it is seen as more logical and analytic than system 1. In his review of dual-process theories, Evans (2007a) called the two systems ‘heuristic’ and ‘analytic’ for systems 1 and 2 respectively; in the interests of simplicity this report will do the same. Although the dual process theory is successful in describing two systems of thought that appear to be different in nature, it has been criticized for not explaining how the mechanisms underlying these systems actually work (e.g. Osman, 2004; Evans 2007a, 2007b). To this end, Kahnemann (2002) in his Nobel Prize lecture placed heuristic and analytic judgement along a continuum of accessibility of thought, with automatic perception on one end and hard deliberation on the other. This is in effect a view that the two processes are not different qualitatively but differ quantitatively, only in the amount of conscious effort that is required. More recent research however, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has found evidence that the two systems use distinct pathways in the brain, indicating a qualitative rather than simply quantitative difference (Goel V. , 2007; Reverberi, Shallice, D'Agostini, Skrap, & Bonatti, 2009; Rodrigues-Moreno & Hirsch, 2009). Goel (2003) gave participants categorical syllogisms designed to either elicit beliefbased response or analytical response whilst blood flow to different brain regions was visualised using fMRI. He found that that belief-
based syllogisms elicited activation of the left-frontal temporal region in the areas associated with long term memory, whilst the analytical-based syllogisms elicited activation of the bilateral parietal system, areas associated with visuo-spatial reasoning. Goel’s findings are comfortably explained by dual-process theory. When a syllogism accords with prior belief the brain uses the heuristic pathway to long term memory to determine a response. When a conflict is detected between conflict and belief this pathway is blocked and the brain uses the analytic process, which Goel surmises can be found in the Visuo-Spatial system. These forays into the anatomical and physiological basis of dual-processes may soon elucidate its underlying mechanisms. Whatever its nature, the concept of duality of thought pervades the literature and has been applied to a variety of subjects such as problem solving (Gillard, Van Dooren, Schaeken, & Verschaffel, 2009), decision making (Dijksterhuis, Bos, Nordgren, & Von Baaren, 2006) and social judgement (Petty & Brinol, 2006; Park, Levine, Westerman, & Foregger, 2007) among many others. The cognitive dual process theory has even been integrated into the psychodynamic concepts of the conscious and unconscious (Epstein, 1994). The present research is interested in the dual-process paradigm in relation to deductive reasoning, syllogistic reasoning in particular. An established approach to studying the dual-process theory is through exploiting the belief bias effect. Belief bias is the tendency to agree with a conclusion which concurs with one’s own beliefs even when that conclusion conflicts with deductive logic (Markovits & Nantel, 1989). In the arena of dual-processing there is a history of using this effect as an indicator of (inappropriate) use of heuristic processing e.g. (Evans, 1983; Denesraj & Epstein, 1994; Stupple & Ball, 2007; De Neys & Van Gelder, 2009). Belief-Inhibition occurs when an individual suspends their belief and agrees with a conclusion that is logically valid even although it conflicts with their previous beliefs; this is held as an indication of use of analytic processing. The method that is most often used to measure belief bias is syllogistic reasoning (e.g. Evans, Handley, & Harper, 2001; Roberts & Sykes, 2003). There are 4 types of syllogisms that are used; Believable-Valid and Unbelievable-Invalid (whereby logical necessity and believability of the conclusion concur, these are non-conflict syllogisms), Believable-Invalid and Unbelievable-Valid (whereby logical
necessity and believability of the conclusion conflicts, these are conflict or belief bias syllogisms). An example of an unbelievablevalid (conflict) syllogism is “No addictive things are inexpensive, Some cigarettes are inexpensive, Therefore, some cigarettes are not addictive” (taken from Evans, Barston, & Pollard, 1983). The subject matter of this project is the individual differences in dual-processing using the syllogistic reasoning paradigm described above, individual differences in question being need for cognition and working memory capacity. Previous findings have shown that both need for cognition and working memory capacity predict the differential use of heuristics or analytics (e.g. West, Toplak, & Stanovich, 2008; Bruine de Bruin, Fischhoff, & Parker, 2007; Kokis, Macpherson, Toplak, West, & Stanovich, 2002) this research is original in (among other facets described further on) its interest in whether these findings indicate a common or different origin. As an aside this study will also look at participants’ awareness of the conflict between belief and logic in the conflict syllogisms. Alternate Hypotheses:
1. 2. 3. 4.
Participants with a greater need for cognition will make fewer belief bias errors on a syllogistic reasoning task. Participants with a larger working memory capacity will make fewer belief bias errors on a syllogistic reasoning task. Need for cognition and Working Memory Capacity will co correlate in their prediction of belief-inhibition. Participants will be less sure of their answers to syllogisms where logic conflicts with belief than to syllogisms where logic concurs with belief.
The same group of participants are used for the entire study so that comparisons can be made between all the elements being studied. The report however is divided into sections for each hypothesis being examined. 1. Need for Cognition and Belief Bias
Thinking dispositions as a causative factor of thinking biases have received a good deal of attention in the literature (e.g. West et al., 2008; Cavazos & Campbell, 2008; Kokis, Macpherson, Toplak, West, & Stanovich, 2002; Stanovich & West, 1998), the motivation for
which has often been to uncover individual differences in the ability to think critically. The ability to inhibit one’s existing beliefs in order to evaluate the validity of an argument is one aspect of critical thinking. Some of the personality dimensions that have been studied in relation to belief bias are; openness to experience (Stanovich & West, 1997), Dogmatism (Sa, West, & Stanovich, 1999), epistemic self-regulation (Toplak & Stanovich, 2002) and need for cognition (West, Toplak, & Stanovich, 2008; Kokis, Macpherson, Toplak, West, & Stanovich, 2002) among others. The notion of studying personality dimensions in relation to belief bias was first developed by Stanovich and West (1998); prior to this, research into individual differences in dual-processing had focused on measures of cognitive ability and general intelligence (e.g. Gilinsky & Judd, 1994). West and Stanovich studied a variety of related thinking dispositions, for example actively open-minded thinking and dogmatism, in relation to numerous measures of critical thinking, including belief bias in syllogistic reasoning. They found that the tendency to make belief bias errors was correlated with thinking disposition. People high in dispositions such as openmindedness were less likely to make belief bias errors; whereas people high in dispositions such as dogmatism were more likely to make belief bias errors. The study of need for cognition in belief bias began later in the literature with Macpherson and Stanovich (2007). Need for cognition is a personality dimension which describes the extent to which a person enjoys, seeks out and engages in effortful cognitive endeavours. The term was coined by Cohen, Stotland, & Wolfe (1955) but its current meaning was concieved by Cacioppo & Petty (1982). It has been found to be a personality dimension distinct from others (Cacioppo, Petty, Feinstein, & Jarvis, 1996; Sadowski & Cogburn, 1997). Macpherson and Stanovich (2007) found that need for cognition was a predictor (significant albeit weak) of Belief Bias in syllogistic reasoning. In their experiment they presented participants with 8 conflict syllogisms to test the belief bias effect and 8 non-conflict syllogisms; however they only analysed the results from the conflict syllogisms ignoring the results from the non-conflict syllogisms. Results for the non-conflict syllogisms could be assumed to represent participants’ general ability on syllogistic reasoning. The effect they discovered therefore could be explained by general cognitive ability (which they also found to be predicted by need for
cognition) or by general ability on syllogistic reasoning. Although evidence from studies such as Stanovich, West & Toplak (2008) has found need for cognition to predict the belief bias effect even when cognitive ability was partialed out, it is still not clear whether this variability in belief bias could be explained by ability at syllogistic reasoning in particular. An interesting facet of the research done by Macpherson and Stanovich is the finding that although cognitive ability and need for cognition predicted belief bias in syllogistic reasoning, these same individual differences did not predict another critical thinking bias; myside bias. Myside bias is the tendency to bias thinking towards one’s own opinions; it is different from belief bias which is the tendency to bias judgements towards one’s factual knowledge about the world. Macpherson and Stanovich were somewhat at a loss to explain this phenomenon, but it can be explained by the dual process theory: Whilst belief bias is an indicator of the use of one mode of processing (heuristics) over another, myside bias is not thought to be related to heuristics or analytics (Stanovich & West, 2008). Thus this finding indicates that people varying in need for cognition actually vary in their tendency to use one or the other system of processing, rather than just varying in their ability to avoid bias. It is important to note however that the measures of belief bias and myside bias used differed in their level of formality, the former using formal syllogistic reasoning, and the latter using less formal argument generation tasks. The subject of this part of the study is the relationship between the thinking disposition of need for cognition and the belief bias effect. The aim is to find out if people differing in need for cognition vary in their tendency to use different mechanisms of thought (heuristics and analytics as described above). The present study differs from previous research in this area in that performance on belief bias syllogisms is controlled for by performance on non-conflict syllogisms. In this way the hope is to separate the belief bias effect from cognitive ability so that any relationship between correct answers and need for cognition can be said to come from propensity to use one or the other system of processing rather than simply from level of ability at syllogistic reasoning.
1.2.1. Design A correlational design was used; with the following variables: need for cognition operationalised with a questionnaire, BeliefInhibition Score on a syllogistic reasoning task (percentage of correct answers to syllogisms where logic conflicts with belief), and the control variable Non-Conflict Score on a syllogistic reasoning task (percentage of correct answers to syllogisms where logic and belief concur). Both the syllogistic reasoning task and the need for cognition scale were administered with paper and pencil. The syllogistic reasoning task was administered before the Need for cognition scale so as to control for ‘cueing’ effects of the need for cognition scale, i.e. Participants may have been cued to use their analytic system of processing by the nature of the statements in the need for cognition scale. The entire test takes about 20-30 minutes to complete. 1.2.2. Participants 117 participants took part in the study, results from 2 of whom were removed as they misunderstood the scales and filled them in incorrectly, leaving 115 participants of which 66 (57%) female and 49 (43%) male. The participants were all adults the youngest being 18 and the oldest being 67 (M = 36, SD = 13). Participants were drawn from an opportunity sample of family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances of the researcher. They were from a variety of backgrounds, >80% of participants fell into the following 5 categories; Students, Usability Consultants, Engineers, Local Government workers and Sales people. At the time of taking part participants were currently residing in either Greater London (57%), Somerset (31%) or Scotland (12%), Participants were well above average for the population in terms of educational level (Highest level: GCSE 2%; A Level; 14%; Bachelors; 52%; Masters 28%; PhD 4%). None of the participants were paid for taking part. 1.2.3. Materials
Syllogistic Reasoning Task: The syllogistic reasoning task was created by the student researcher. It was deemed appropriate to create syllogisms for this study as there is no ‘gold standard’ syllogistic reasoning task available. Previous studies involving syllogistic reasoning have also used their own syllogisms or have modified previous ones (e.g. De Neys & Van Gelder, 2009). The task consisted of 20 syllogisms in total. 12 syllogisms were designed to conflict between logic and belief; of which 6 ValidUnbelievable (V-U) and 6 Invalid-Believable (I-B). The other 8 were designed to accord between logic and belief; of which 4 ValidBelievable (V-B) and 4 Invalid-Unbelievable (I-U)1. Syllogisms were laid out as such:
Syllogisms were designed to be reasonably challenging due to the expectation of educated participants (professionals and university students), although care was taken to use language that all participants were likely to be able to understand. Syllogisms from Markovits & Nantel (1989) have been used by many researchers (eg. De Neys & Van Gelder, 2009) but these were found to be too simple for the current study, on preliminary testing using simpler researcher designed syllogisms similar to those in Markovits & Nantel (1989), the 5 participants tested answered correctly for all of the syllogisms, this would have prevented any useful results being obtained by the study.
Valid syllogisms were of the types AII-1, EIO-2, OAO-3, EAO-4, IAI-4 (A = Universal affirmative, E = Universal negative, I = particular affirmative, O = Particular negative), numbers refer to the figural layout. Invalid syllogisms are invalid because of one of the following; illicit process of the minor term, illicit process of the major term, fallacy of the undistributed middle, affirmative conclusion from negative premises. None of the syllogisms commit the existential fallacy.
Instructions included an example syllogism and explained that a syllogism is ‘a type of logic puzzle’. Participants were instructed to answer whether the conclusion followed logically from the premises on each item. They were also asked to indicate how certain they were of their answer, either ‘certain’ or ‘uncertain’ (See part 4 for explanation) The syllogistic reasoning task was designed to be divided into two separate scales for analysis; A Belief-Inhibition Scale made up of the 12 conflict syllogisms and a Non-Conflict Scale made up of the 8 non-conflict syllogisms. In the results these are shown as percentage correct scores so that the two can be compared. See appendix 1 for the full paper and pencil task given to participants. Reliability of Scales: Cronbach’s alpha for the Belief-Inhibition Scale from the current sample was .820 showing high internal consistency, each of the items add consistency (removing any one reduces Cronbach’s α). adds consistency (removing any one reduces Cronbach’s α). See appendix 2.2 for SPSS readout. Participants scored higher on the non-conflict syllogisms than on the Belief-Inhibition (Conflict) syllogisms, the mean difference in score was .229 the effect size was d = .48. On a paired samples t-test this difference was found to be significant (t = 9.209, df = 114, p < .0005). This can be confirmed by noting that zero does not fall within the confidence interval (.18, .28). Because the only difference between the two sets of syllogisms was whether belief conflicted or concurred with logic we can conclude that this effect occurs as a result of belief bias. See Appendix 2.3 for SPSS readout. Need for Cognition Questionnaire: The 18 item Short Form of the Need for Cognition Scale (SF-NFC) (Cacioppo, Petty, & Feng Kao, 1984) was used. Participants were instructed to indicate their level of agreement with each statement on a 5 point Likert scale (‘strongly agree’, ‘agree’, ‘don’t know’, ‘disagree’, ‘strongly disagree’) ‘don’t know’ was used as the middle term rather than ‘neither agree nor disagree’ to discourage central tendency bias without forcing choice. The scale includes both positive and negative statements. Positive statements such as: “I prefer life to be filled with puzzles I must solve” and negative statements such as See appendix 2.1 for SPSS readout. Cronbach’s alpha for the Non-Conflict Scale from the current sample was .804 showing high internal consistency, each of the items
“Learning new ways to think doesn't excite me very much”. A score from 0 to 4 was given for each item (4 being high need for cognition, 0 being low need for cognition) and the 18 scores were summed to give the need for cognition score. 1.2.4. Procedure Participants were asked to complete the syllogistic reasoning test first and then the Need for Cognition Scale, demographic information was also collected. The tests were administered on paper Most participants were instructed by the researcher face to face, others were instructed over the phone and via email.
Informed consent was obtained from all participants before they started the tests. They were informed of their right to end the test at any point. Participants’ results were kept anonymous with individual results being identified by numbers, which could also be used by anyone wishing to remove their results after the fact. Participants were given a debrief sheet at the end of the study with contact details and further explanation of the aims and background to the research. See appendix 1.2 and 1.3 for participant consent form and debrief sheet 1.3. Results
The results for Need for Cognition were: N = 115, M = 44.63, sd. = 9.70, results for percentage of correct conflict syllogisms (BeliefInhibition Score) were: M = 62.81, sd. = 23.31, results for the percentage of correct non-conflict syllogisms (Non-conflict Score) were: M = 84.75, SD = 13.26. These results are summarised in table 1 (see appendix 3 for SPSS readout of all descriptive statistics).
Table 1: Descriptive Statistics for Need for Cognition, Belief-Inhibition and Non-Conflict Scores
Number Need for Cognition Belief-Inhibition Score Non-Conflict Score 115 115 115
Mean 44.63 62.81 84.75
Std. Deviation 9.70 23.31 13.26
A sequential linear regression analysis was performed with need for cognition as the dependant variable. Non-conflict Score was added first to the model then belief-inhibition score was added second. A partial correlation was also done with non-conflict score as the controlling variable. It was found that need for cognition is a significant predictor of belief-inhibition (F = 24.535, p < .0005). This was a moderate positive correlation (r = .422, N = 115) and explains 17% of the variance (Adjusted R2 = .171). The partial correlation between belief-inhibition and need for cognition was the same when non-conflict score was controlled.
Table 2: Correlations among Correct Conflict and Non-conflict Syllogisms and Need for Cognition Belief-Inhibition Score .01 .42* Non-Conflict Score Need for Cognition Score .03 .42* -
Belief-Inhibition Score .01 Non-Conflict Score Need for Cognition .03 Score * Significant at the .0005% level ¹Numbers above the diagonal are zero order 2Numbers below the diagonal are partial correlations
In summary it was found that belief-inhibition shows a moderate positive correlation with need for cognition. The partial correlation when non-conflict score was controlled for was the same as when it was not controlled for and remained significant, so we can assume that the correlation is due to belief bias effect and not ability at syllogistic reasoning. Non-conflict score did not correlate significantly with either belief-inhibition score or need for cognition. See appendix 4 for SPSS readout. 1.4. Discussion
The results for this part of the study showed that people who score more highly in the need for cognition are better at inhibiting their prior beliefs when these conflict with logic, added to this is the fact that this correlation remained the same when non-conflict score was controlled for. These results accord with the findings of Macpherson and Stanovich (2007) and strengthen the dual process interpretation that can be taken from them, as the correlation between belief-inhibition and need for cognition was this time found to be entirely independent of general ability on syllogistic reasoning. Collectively these results allow for the interpretation that people scoring highly in need for cognition are more inclined to use an analytic system of processing than those low in need for cognition and are thus more able to avoid belief bias. However in saying this it must be noted that the effect size was only moderate, need for cognition explaining 17% of the variance in belief-inhibition score
thus there are more important factors at play here. One of these factors may be working memory, which will be covered by the next section of this report. Interestingly it was also found that the correlation between conflict and non-conflict scores was almost zero (and insignificant), presumably this is an indication that there is a strong belief bias effect occurring on the conflict syllogisms which is entirely independent of general syllogistic ability. However, previous studies have found that belief-inhibition is positively correlated with general cognitive ability (e.g. West and Stanovich, 1998; Stanovich, West & Toplak, 2008); it seems likely that this correlation would increase with general ability at syllogistic reasoning due to the greater task similarity, rather than decrease as the results have found. This finding will be discussed in greater detail in the general discussion. Feedback from participants from the need for cognition part of the study was fairly few and far between, participants were far more interested in their results to the syllogisms component (which will be discussed in the general discussion). One feedback however was that several participants showed signs of attempting to guess the results that the experimenter was looking for, one participant stated “I’m probably going to be the one who likes thinking but is really bad at it!” (see appendix 5) this appears to be fairly explicit participants bias. The fact that the participants were in general more educated than the general population would likely have amplified this participant bias effect. It was considered on the design of the experiment that participants may perform differently on the syllogisms if given the need for cognition scale to complete first. 18 questions about the degree to which one enjoys cognitive effort may cue one quite blatantly to use the analytic system of processing. This is the reason that participants were given the syllogisms to complete first and the need for cognition scale second. However it seems that this may have biased the results also. Participants anticipating their degree of success or failure at the syllogisms may have modified their answers to the need for cognition scale accordingly. For example if a participant felt that they did badly on the syllogisms they may have answered the need for cognition scale in a way suggesting they do not enjoy cognitive effort. Allowing them to feel more in control of their result i.e. ‘it was because I don’t like thinking, not because I am bad at it’ thus protecting their own self-perceptions. It is difficult to know whether
this affected the results or not. This could possibly have been controlled for by employing each part of the test at different times, but this would have been extremely time-consuming for both researcher and participant. In conclusion, this part of the study found that individuals varying in need for cognition also varied in their ability to avoid the belief bias effect. This can be explained by dual processing theory. Those who take greater pleasure in cognitive effort are more likely to use the analytic system of processing over the heuristic system and therefore are more able to avoid belief bias. The next section looks at the relationship between working memory capacity and belief-inhibition. 2. Working Memory Capacity and Belief Bias
The concept of working memory has a strong theoretical relationship with the concept of analytic processing; working memory can be seen as the mental workspace that the analytic system of processing requires in order to perform its effortful, reflective thought. The heuristic system should require little, if any, conscious mental workspace, as it has no requirement to mentally manipulate information. It follows therefore that having a large working memory capacity would improve one’s ability to use the analytic system of processing whilst having little effect on one’s ability to use the heuristic system. People with a larger working memory capacity would therefore be less likely to make belief bias errors. Kyllonen and Christal (1990) make the argument that logical reasoning (analytic processing) and working memory are basically the same thing, in their study they found that measures of one strongly predicted the other. However this is not supported by findings from fMRI studies that have mapped working memory to different locations in the brain than those mapped for the analytic processing used in syllogistic reasoning (working memory; Courtney, Petit, Maisog, Ungerleider, & Haxby, 1998; Landro, et al., 2001); analytic processing: Goel, 2003; 2007). Syllogistic reasoning ability, however, has been strongly linked to working memory capacity, for example Copeland and Radvansky (2004) and Capon, Handley and Dennis (2003), both of which found that people with larger working memory capacities performed
considerably better on syllogistic reasoning, although these studies do not relate to the belief bias effect or dual-processing as they did not compare conflict and non-conflict syllogisms. The first study to relate working memory directly with belief bias was undertaken by Guayle & Ball (2000). They found that there was an interaction between the tendency to make belief bias errors and spatial working memory span in people with lower than average working memory capacities. However this effect was not present in people with an above average working memory capacity. Although thier study was generally more concerned with task aspects of belief bias (the amount of load different task manipulations put on working memory) rather than with individual differences in working memory capacity. De Neys (2006a) designed an experiment to determine the relationship between belief bias on syllogistic reasoning and working memory capacity. He was interested in whether better performance on syllogistic reasoning by people with larger working memory spans, was due to a qualitative difference; people with larger working memory spans are more likely to use analytics over heuristics, or due to a quantitative difference; the tendency to use analytics is the same in people with larger working memory spans but their analytic system is better at getting the answer right. This was done by ‘loading’ the working memory span with an unrelated task while the participant completed the syllogisms. He found that on non-conflict syllogisms extra cognitive load did not affect the number of errors made, but that on the conflict syllogisms the number of errors increased significantly with extra cognitive load. Under cognitive load participants were forced to use their heuristic mode of processing as there was no ‘room’ in working memory for analytic processing to take place; this did not affect answers to the non-conflict items as either mode of processing should come to the same conclusion but on the conflict items use of heuristics caused belief bias. This supports not only the dual process theory itself but the idea that working memory capacity and analytic processing are highly related. An interesting aside to this study was a later finding by De Neys and Schaeken (2007) that when the term ‘some’ was used in syllogism (rather than ‘all’ or ‘none’) people were more likely to interpret it logically (rather than pragmatically as in common language) under
greater cognitive load, showing that increased cognitive load does not always inhibit logical thinking. How this fits into the dualprocess theory is unclear. A similar relationship between working memory capacity and belief bias to that which was found by De Neys (2006) was found to be present in children (Handley, Capon, Beveridge, Dennis, & Evans, 2004). However in contrast to this are findings from Morsanyi & Handley (2008) that children with greater cognitive capacity (including a measure of working memory) were more likely to respond heuristically to problems than were children with lower cognitive capacity. This part of the current study aims to look at the relationship between working memory capacity and the belief bias for three reasons; Firstly to determine whether the previous research can be replicated which would add validity to the findings of this study. Secondly, to compare these results to participants’ general ability at syllogistic reasoning, this is an original part of the study. Thirdly, to look at how the correlation (if one is found) between working memory capacity and belief bias relates to the correlation between need for cognition and belief bias to determine whether they have a common or separate cause. 2.2. 2.2.1. Methods Design
A correlational design was used; with the variables: Working Memory Capacity Score on an online operational-span (OSPAN) test (percentage of maximum possible score), Belief-Inhibition Score on a syllogistic reasoning task (percentage of correct answers to syllogisms where logic conflicts with belief), and the control variable Non-Conflict Score on a syllogistic reasoning task (percentage of correct answers to syllogisms where logic and belief concur). The syllogistic reasoning task was administered with paper and pencil, the OSPAN task was administered on a variety of PC’s and Macs belonging to either the participant, their workplace or in one of the University of Westminster computer rooms. The entire test takes about 45 minutes to complete. 2.2.2. Participants
83 of the 115 participants described in part 1 also completed this part of the study. They were 39 (47%) male and 44 (53%) female. The oldest participant was 67 and the youngest was 18 (m = 37, sd = 14). Educational level and background was fairly representative of the total cohort participating in part 1. 2.2.3. Materials
The Short Form of the Need For Cognition Scale was used as described in part 1. Working Memory Capacity Test: An online version of the Operation Span (OSPAN) test (Turner & Engle, 1989) was used, obtained from the Hanover College website (Krantz, 2008) which is freely available through The Higher Education Academy’s psychology website (The Higher Education Academy, 2009). Each item of the test was composed of a random word presented in conjunction with a maths problem, participants were instructed to simultaneously remember the word and indicate whether the answer given for the maths problem was correct or incorrect. After all items had been presented in this way participants were given a list of words and asked to click on the words which they remembered form the test. The test was composed of 9 items, participants were given 15 seconds to look at each item and 30 seconds for recall at the end. The test was scored by taking the mean of the maths score and word recall part of the study for each participant, which were both given as percentages. 2.2.4. Procedure
As described in part 1 with the difference that participants also completed an online OSPAN test after the other parts of the test. Some participants completed this part in the same session as the other parts of the test and others completed it at a different time. Due to the complexity of setting up the online OSPAN part of the study almost all participants were tested face to face with the experimenter in front of a computer screen. Less than 15% completed the OSPAN test away from the researcher; these participants were given one to one instructions given over the phone directly before they took the test and were debriefed and the results collected over the phone directly after they took the test. This is also the reason that not all of the participants took part in this test.
Table 4 shows the descriptive statistics for participants who completed all parts of the study.
Table 4: Descriptive Statistics for Belief-Inhibition and WMC for Participants Completing all Parts of the Study
Number Belief-Inhibition Score Non-Conflict Score Working Capacity Memory 83 83 83
Mean .64 .86 .57
Std. Deviation .23 .14 .23
Sequential linear regression was done with working memory as the dependant variable, non-conflict score was added first to the model then belief-inhibition score was added second. A partial correlation was also done controlling for non-conflict score. The results of these analyses can be found in table 5 below
Table 5: Correlations among Belief-Inhibition and Non-conflict Syllogisms and Working Memory Capacity Belief-Inhibition Score .07 .37** Non-Conflict Score .07 .33* Working Memory Capacity .39** .35* -
Belief-Inhibition Score Non-Conflict Score Working Memory Capacity *Significant at the 0.001% level ** Significant at correlations
the .0005% level ¹Numbers above the diagonal are zero order 2Numbers below the diagonal are partial
A moderate positive correlation was found between Belief-Inhibition and Working Memory Capacity (r = .39) which was highly significant (p = < .0005, one tailed), a moderate positive correlation remained after non-conflict score was controlled for (r = .37, p = > .0005) adjusted r2 = .14, so 14% of the variation in Belief-Inhibition can be explained by Working Memory Capacity. A significant, moderate positive correlation was also found between working memory capacity and non-conflict score (r = .35, p = > .001, partial r = .33, p = > .001). The adjusted r2 = .12 so 12% of the variance in general ability at syllogistic reasoning can be explained by working memory. So to summarise, both belief-inhibition and general ability at syllogistic reasoning correlated moderately with working memory capacity. As before, it was found in this smaller sample that general ability at syllogistic reasoning did not correlate significantly with ability to inhibit belief in syllogistic reasoning. 2.4. Discussion
It was found in this part of the study that people with greater working memory capacity made fewer errors on the belief bias syllogisms, and made fewer errors on the non-conflict syllogisms; working memory accounting for 14% of variation in belief-inhibition score and 12% of variation in non-conflict score. This agrees with the findings of Guayle & Ball (2000) and De Neys (2006a) discussed in the introduction. There are three possible interpretations of these results, firstly that people will make a choice (consciously or unconsciously) for each syllogism to use one or the other system of processing; possessing a greater working memory capacity leads people to tend more toward analytic processing and thus make less belief bias mistakes. This theory is supported by the fact that score on conflict syllogisms correlated more highly to working memory capacity than did score on non-conflict syllogisms. The second interpretation is that people always use the analytic system when reasoning about syllogisms; people with a greater working memory capacity do so better as they have more resources at their disposal, belief bias having nothing to do with it. This
conclusion is supported by the findings that people with greater working memory spans also performed better on non-conflict syllogisms than those with smaller working memory spans. If it was the case that people were relying only the heuristic systems for non-conflict syllogisms then working memory span should not be related. The final interpretation of these results is that people with greater working memory capacity have the same tendency to use either heuristic or analytic processing but they differ from people with smaller working memory capacity in that both their heuristic and analytic systems are better. This third interpretation goes against what has been theorised before, that working memory and analytic processing are very similar, if not the same thing (Kyllonen and Christal, 1990) and that heuristic processing does not require use of the working memory. However some theorists believe that the working memory controls the output from both analytic and heuristic processing, and another brand of this theory that analytic processing controls the output of heuristic processing (Evans, 2007). Proponents of this theory maintain that analytic processing makes greater demands on working memory than heuristics, which explains the closer correlation of working memory capacity with conflict syllogisms than non-conflict syllogisms. This idea that people with high working memory capacity have better heuristic processes as well as analytic is supported by a finding of De Neys, Schaeken, & d'Ydewwalle (2005) that people with greater working memory capacity were better able to choose between heuristics, inhibiting those that were inappropriate, and use one that was more normatively correct. For future research it would be interesting to see a study which looked deeper into the way heuristic processing uses working memory and how this fits into the dual process theory in general. It may be wise to do this without the use of syllogisms as there is the possibility that such a formal reasoning task automatically cues activation of the analytic processing (which will be dealt with in more detail in the general discussion). A possible design for this future study would be to ask participants to perform a task which one could be certain required heuristic processing (would be performed less well by analytic processing) whilst variably ‘loading’ the working
memory with an unrelated task. The loading task used could be the same as that used by De Neys, (2006) and Schaeken (2007). In this way it could be measured to what extent heuristic processing requires use of the working memory. It is unfortunate that not all of the participants that took part in the written tests could take part in the online OSPAN part. The reason for this was that it required both the participant and researcher to be together sitting in front of a computer 2 which was not possible in all cases. The OSPAN test was fairly complicated to set up so participants were not able to do it themselves at home. To conclude, this part of the study found that people with larger working memory capacity made fewer errors on both the conflict and non-conflict syllogisms. There are several possible explanations for this. The explanation that best fits the results is that people varying in working memory capacity have the same tendency to use either analytic or heuristic processing but that they differ in the effectiveness of both their heuristic and analytic systems. The next section looks at how this relates to the need for cognition element studied in section 1.
Working Memory Capacity, Need for Cognition and Belief Bias
The previous two sections of this study have found that both need for cognition and working memory capacity are predictors of beliefinhibition. What is missing is how the two relate to one another in the way that they predict belief-inhibition. Previous studies have looked at the associations between need for cognition and belief bias in conjunction with cognitive ability, using measures such as SAT scores (Stanovich & West, 2008; West, Toplak, & Stanovich, 2008; Stanovich & West, 1998). Other studies have also looked at the relationship between belief bias and working memory capacity (Guayle & Ball, 2000; De Neys, 2006). However no study has so far looked at the interaction between working memory capacity and need for cognition in thier relationship with the
A few participants (N < 15%) who completed the OSPAN test did so over the phone, these participants received detailed instruction on how to set up the test over the phone as they were doing it and their results were collected over the phone directly afterwards.
belief bias effect. This means that it is still unclear if the two relationships have the same underlying cause (such as cognitive ability) or if they are different in origin. This part of the current research will look at the relationship between these three things in the same group of participants. 3.2. 3.2.1. Methods Design
A correlational design was used; with the variables: Working Memory Capacity Score on an online operational-span (OSPAN) test, (percentage of maximum possible score), Need for Cognition Score and Belief-Inhibition Score on a syllogistic reasoning task (percentage of correct answers to syllogisms where logic conflicts with belief). The need for cognition scale and syllogistic reasoning task were administered with paper and pencil, the OSPAN task was administered on a variety of PC’s and Macs. The entire test takes about 45 minutes to complete. Participants and procedure are the same as that used in parts 1 and 2 above. Materials relevant to this part of the study were the Need for cognition scale, syllogistic reasoning task described in 1.1.3. and the Online OSPAN test described in 2.1.3. 3.3. Results
The results of the WMC test were; N = 83, M = .565, SD = .225, and of the Need for Cognition test (for participants who also completed the WMC test) were; N = 83, M = 44.43, SD = 10.00. This is outlined in the table 3.
Table 3: Descriptive Statistics for 83 Participants who completed all parts of the test Number Mean Std. Deviation
Need for Cognition Belief-Inhibition Score Working Memory Capacity
83 83 83
44.43 .64 .57
10.00 .23 .23
Pearson’s test of correlation found that there was no significant correlation between need for cognition and working memory capacity. So participants need for cognition is not related to their working memory capacity. A simultaneous linear regression analysis was performed with belief-inhibition as the dependant variable and need for cognition and working memory capacity entered together. A significant model emerged which accounted for 30% (Adjusted r2 = .30) of the variance in belief-inhibition (r = .561, F = 18.376, p = > .0005). Please see appendix 7 for SPSS readouts. A second simultaneous linear regression was done with participants highest level of education added to the model; although this was found to be a significant predictor it added very little to the predictive value of the model and so was dropped from the results.
Table 7: Correlations among Belief-Inhibition and Non-conflict Syllogisms and Working Memory Capacity Belief-Inhibition Score .44** .36* Need for Cognition .46** -.01 Working Memory Capacity .39* .17 -
Belief-Inhibition Score Need for Cognition Working Memory Capacity *Significant at the 0.001% level ** Significant at correlations
the .0005% level ¹Numbers above the diagonal are zero order 2Numbers below the diagonal are partial
To summarise, it was found that participants’ working memory capacity and their need for cognition both predicted the extent to which they could avoid belief bias in syllogistic reasoning. Furthermore, these factors predicted belief-inhibition independently of one another and had an additive effect on the predictive value of the model.
The results show that even though both working memory capacity and need for cognition correlate with belief-inhibition they do so independently of each other. When these correlations are consigned together to a model, the extent to which each predicts belief bias is additive. This is strong evidence that the two factors have separate underlying causes. The implications of this are discussed in the general discussion.
Awareness of Conflict in Belief-Bias
When logic conflicts with prior belief, in order to avoid belief bias an individual must inhibit the heuristic system and operationalise the analytic system. For this to transpire the individual must first be aware that such a conflict exists. Much speculation exists over whether people consciously experience this conflict and are able to choose between the two systems or whether the decision to use one or the other system happens automatically. Kahneman and Fredrick (2005) aver that in general people rely on their less demanding heuristic system to make judgements, in certain rare cases they will detect a conflict between belief and logic and call up the more demanding analytic processing but much more often will be unaware of the conflict and have very little insight into how their judgement came about or that it is not normatively correct. Other researchers take a different view (e.g. Denesraj & Epstien, 1994; Sloman, 1996), that when conflict between logic and intuition takes place both heuristic and analytic systems are simultaneously activated and the subject is aware of the conflict between the two. The person then must make a conscious decision as to which route to take, when they take the wrong route for that situation, choosing heuristics when it would be more appropriate to use analytics then they make belief bias type errors. This view is interesting
in that it implies a method of controlling belief bias where the other view does not. If people are consciously aware that a conflict is taking place and that there are two possible ‘routes to follow’ it may be possible to train or instruct the person to avoid these errors. However, as in the previous view, if this conflict is not consciously detected then training would likely not be effective. This part of the current research is original in that previous attempts at determining peoples’ awareness of belief-logic conflict have been explicit in asking people to explain their thought processes (De Neys & Glumicic 2008), or casual in taking note of comments made by participants whilst reasoning (Denesraj & Epstien, 1994; Epstein & Pacini, 1999) in all cases qualitative data. In this study the participants are simply asked to indicate how certain they are of their answer to each syllogism. If participants are aware that there is a conflict occurring it follows that they would be less certain of their answers to the conflict syllogisms than to the non-conflict syllogisms. This will add a fresh perspective from quantitative data. 4.2. Methods
4.2.1. Design A within-groups design was used; with the variables: Degree of certainty on non-conflict syllogisms (percentage times participant was certain of their answer to a non-conflict syllogism) and Degree of Certainty on Conflict syllogisms (percentage of times participant was certain of their answer to a Conflict syllogism). The task was administered with paper and pencil and takes about 20 minutes to complete. Participants and procedure are those describes in section 1 above. 4.2.2. Materials
The syllogistic reasoning task as described in part 1.1.3. The part of the syllogistic reasoning task which corresponds to this research question is participants’ self reports of certainty in their answer. A certainty score is given as a percentage of number of times participant answered ‘certain’ to the conflict and non-conflict syllogisms.
Overall results for participants’ degree of certainty are reported in table 5 below.
Table 5: Descriptive Statistics for Degree of Certainty Number Degree of Certainty on Conflict Syllogisms Degree of Certainty on Non-Conflict Syllogisms 115 115 Mean .73 .80 Std. Deviation .19 .17
Participants were more certain of their answers to the non-conflict syllogism that they were of their answers to the conflict syllogisms, the mean difference was -.07. The effect size was small (d = .10) but was found to be significant using a paired t-test (t = 4.659, df = 114, p = <.00025, 1-tailed). No significant relationship was found between participants’ level of certainty and the number of correct answers they gave for either category of item. Taking a cue from the previous results, it was also decided to test whether working memory capacity or need for cognition predicted ability to detect belief-logic conflict. No significant correlations were found. 4.4. Discussion
From participants self reported degree of certainty we can infer that there was some degree of awareness that a conflict was occurring between belief and logic on the belief-inhibition syllogisms, as participants were less certain of their results to these items. However since the effect size is so small (d = .10), and the mean percentage of certainty for belief-inhibition syllogisms was so high (73%) this is not a strong enough effect to draw any firm conclusions.
The level of certainty was not significantly related to either working memory capacity or need for cognition which suggests that differences in performance on the syllogisms did not relate to ability to consciously detect the conflict. However a criticism of this part of the study is that participants self reports of certainty do not take into account whether they actually came up with the correct solution to the syllogisms they were certain or uncertain of and in fact participants score and level of certainty. Because of this there is a limit to the interpretations that can be made from this part of the study.
General Discussion The current research has found that the ability to inhibit ones belief when it conflicts with logic is weakly positively correlated with working memory capacity, and moderately positively correlated with need for cognition. However despite this it has been found that working memory capacity is not significantly correlated with need for cognition. When working memory capacity and need for cognition are consigned together to a model, the extent to which each predicts beliefinhibition is additive. There is no overlap of the prediction that each one adds. This is strong evidence that the two factors have separate underlying causes. These results when viewed through a dual-process lens signify that those with a larger working memory capacity and those with a greater need for cognition are both more likely to use analytic processing but that they do so for different reasons. One interpretation of these results is that high need for cognition people are more likely to use analytic processing as they take greater enjoyment from thought, even though they may find it just as effortful as low need for cognition people. People high in working memory capacity are more likely to use analytic processing however as they are more able to do so, it requires less effort for
them to consciously manipulate the variables than it does for people with lower working memory capacity so they have less need to rely on heuristic processing. However this interpretation does not explain the fact that both belief-inhibition and general ability at syllogistic reasoning correlated with working memory independently of each other. Had they correlated together then it could have been concluded that larger working memory capacity allowed people to be better at syllogistic reasoning as well as causing them to be more inclined to use analytic processing. The fact that they both correlate independently of each other suggests that something else is going on. This can be explained however. It is possible that people with larger working memory spans are better at both analytic and heuristic processing and thus make fewer mistakes on whichever one they use; however whether they choose to use one or the other for any given task depends on something other than WMC. People with a greater need for cognition do not have better analytic systems than those who do not, however they are more likely to choose to use it when it is required (and perhaps more likely to realise that it is required). Thus it could be predicted that the individual who would be best at inhibiting their prior beliefs when faced with conflicting logic would be those with high working memory capacity and a greater need for cognition as they have a combination of motivation and ability. In relation to this interpretation an interesting thing to note about results to the conflict and non-conflict syllogisms is the almost complete absence of correlation between conflict and non-conflict score. This can be taken as evidence that the syllogisms were well designed to study the belief bias effect without it being related to cognitive ability or general ability at syllogistic reasoning, however several previous studies have found that ability to avoid the belief bias effect is somewhat correlated with general cognitive ability (e.g. West and Stanovich, 1998; Stanovich, West & Toplak, 2008). One would expect this correlation to increase with the greater task similarity, rather than the decrease that has been found in the current research.
It is perfectly possible that this finding indicates a methodological flaw in the design of the syllogisms. However there is an interpretation of this finding that does accord with previous research. That is that each participant chose either the analytic or heuristic system of processing and stuck to it for the entirety of the syllogistic reasoning task. Participants using analytic processing on the non-conflict items may, due to the difficulty of the syllogisms have made more mistakes than those using heuristics as they were looking out for ‘trick’ questions. The general assumption in dual-processing is that analytic processing is better and more likely to come up with an answer that is normatively correct than heuristic processing simply by virtue of the fact that it takes more effort (e.g. Alter et al., 2007; Stevenson, 1997; Evans in Holyoak and Morrison, 2005). However this may not be the case, several studies have found heuristic processing to be ‘better’ that analytic processing, not only because it demands less effort, but also because in many instances it is more liable to come up with an answer that is normatively correct (Witteman, van den Bercken, Claes, & Godoy, 2009; De Vries, Holland, & Witteman, 2008; Engel in Engel and Wolf, 2008; Wilson & Schooler, 1991; also see Wilson, 2002). One such study by Pretz (2008) found that more experienced people did better using the analytic system whilst less experienced people were better to rely on heuristics. This allows interpretation of the results of the current study; people who have a larger working memory capacity perform better using analytic processing whilst people who have a smaller working memory capacity are better to stick to heuristic processing. One very common feedback from participants (in fact most participants reported this) was that the syllogistic reasoning task was “exam” like, many participants reported strong negative feelings towards this part of the study and many were anxious that they would perform badly (see appendix 7 for some of the more notable participant feedback). This being despite all efforts to reassure that they themselves were not being tested only the theories involved. It was made absolutely clear to participants that they were under no obligation to participate at the beginning of the study and this was reiterated when participants reported negative feelings towards the syllogistic reasoning component. This may have been more of an ethical consideration but for the fact that the same participants who reported performance anxiety also requested to be sent their results (which necessitated that their results not be anonymous to the researcher). This feedback does however lead to a criticism that can be made about the syllogistic reasoning
paradigm in general; that such a formal ‘exam like’ task may subconsciously cue analytic processing. It has been found in previous studies that participants are very susceptible to subtle cues in their choice of processing mode, directing participants to furrow their brow, for example, has been found to propel participants towards using analytic processing in syllogistic reasoning (Alter, Oppenheimer, Epley, & Eyre, 2007). This is compounded by the fact that in general everyday life people are not exposed to such formal reasoning ‘puzzles’; exposure to a novel stimulus may also cue analytic processing. This criticism of the syllogistic paradigm immediately suggests designs for future study. Many determinants of differential use of one or the other system of processing have been studied, but they can be coded into two main categories; individual differences (that this research has focused upon) such as cognitive ability (Stanovich & West, 2008; Gilinsky & Judd, 1994), thinking disposition and personality (e.g. Stanovich & West, 1997), age (De Neys & Van Gelder, 2009) etc.; and task differences such as figural effects (Stupple & Ball, 2007), pragmatic or logical use of the term ‘some’ (DeNeys & Schaeken, 2007), the type of instruction given to participants (Macpherson & Stanovich, 2007; Evans, Handley, & Harper, 2001) etc. What has not been studied 3 however are possible situational effects, such as the formality of the setting; participants perhaps could be cued to use the analytic system over the heuristic system in an exam like environment or a formal interview environment and this could be compared with processing system use in a less formal environment, such as at home or in a public house. This would have implications for the use of aptitude tests in (the formal setting of) job interviews which are becoming more commonplace. Another interesting area of study in the dual process arena would be the influence of temporary affect at the time of testing on the system of processing used. A person in a better mood may be more likely to use the less cognitively demanding heuristic process in order not to ‘spoil’ thier good mood. The same effect might be found for a person who was stressed as they may be less inclined to put themselves under more cognitive load by using the analytic system and therefore opt for the heuristic system.
Accorded by a literature search on
The results of this study have possible applications for education. If children can be taught that thinking and ‘puzzling things out’ is enjoyable rather than a chore it may help them in later life to overcome thinking biases and improve their critical thinking skills even if their ability level is not high. Conclusion The current research found that both need for cognition and working memory correlated positively with the ability to avoid belief bias errors and that they do so independently of one another. This is explained in terms of dual-processing theory that those with greater need for cognition are more inclined to use the analytic processing as they take greater enjoyment from it, wheras those with a larger working memory capacity are as likely to use either analytic or heuristic processing as those with a smaller working memory capacity but have more effective analytic and heuristic systems and are thus more likely to come up with an answer which is more normatively correct. These findings infer that the heuristic process requires use of the working memory capacity although to a lesser extent than the heuristic process. Indications for future research are a more in depth look into the ways in which the heuristic system makes use of working memory and the impact of situational and temporary affect variables on the differential use of one or the other processing system. Applications of the findings are suggested to education where children could be taught to avoid thinking biases by being encouraged to see thinking as enjoyable rather than taxing.
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Appendices: I have removed the majority of the appendices on Scribd as formatting differences were making the tables completely illegible. The research materials I used/made are available separately on my Scribd profile, if you would like to see the raw data or the SPSS readouts please get in touch on email@example.com. I have left the descriptive statistics and the summary of participant feedback below. Descriptive Statistics for all Results
Descriptive Statistics N Gender Age Highest Educational Level Need for Cognition Score Working Memory Capacity Score Overall Correct Syllogisms Non-Conflict Score Belief-Inhibition Score Degree of Certainty for Belief-Inhibition Items Degree of Certainty for Non115 115 115 115 83 115 115 115 115 115 Minimum 0 18 0 16 .10 .40 .50 .08 .17 .25 Maximum 1 67 4 70 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 Mean .43 35.77 2.19 44.63 .5651 .7081 .8475 .6181 .7258 .7983 Std. Deviation .497 12.779 .794 9.702 .22547 .14943 .13263 .23311 .19038 .17356
Conflict Items Valid N (listwise) 83
Participant Feedback Feedback was obtained by casual observations of participants as they completed the study and noting down any relevant comments they made, and by asking at the end if they had any comments on the research. It was found that in general participants did not have a great deal of feedback to give, mostly they just wanted to know the correct answers to the syllogisms, which were provided on request. Examples of comments made by participants: About the syllogistic reasoning component “Aaah (sigh) this is really hard!” “I’ll have to think about this” “[laughing] I’m just answering these randomly!” “I’m sorry I guessed most of them” “I’m really bad at these” – a very common statement “I feel like I’m in an exam”
About the need for cognition component “I don’t really know the answer to this bit”
“I’m probably going to be the one who likes thinking but is really bad at it!”
About the working memory capacity component “I think I did really badly” “Oh no I didn’t remember anything!”
Examples of questions asked by participants (and answers given by researcher): “Do you want me to answer if this is true or not?” – about the conclusions to the syllogisms (Researcher: “Please answer whether or not the conclusions follow logically from the premises”)