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Science in China Ser. C Life Sciences 2005 Vol.48 No.6 658 668

The diversity effect of inductive reasoning under segment manipulation of complex cognition
CHEN Antao, LI Hong, FENG Tingyong, GAO Xuemei, ZHANG Zhongming, LI Fuhong & YANG Dong
School of Psychology, Southwest University, Key Laboratory of Basic Psychology of Chongqing City, Chongqing 400715, China Correspondence should be addressed to Li Hong (email:

Received November 9, 2004; accepted May 12, 2005

Abstract The present study proposed the idea of segment manipulation of complex cognition (SMCC), and technically made it possible the quantitative treatment and systematical manipulation on the premise diversity. The segment manipulation of complex cognition divides the previous inductive strengths judgment task into three distinct steps, attempting to particularly distinguish the psychological processes and their rules. The results in Experiment 1 showed that compared with the traditional method, the quantitative treatment and systematical manipulation of SMCC on the diversity did not change the task’s nature, and remain rational and a good measurement of inductive strength judgment. The results in Experiment 2 showed that the participants’ response rules in the triple-step task were expected from our proposal, and that in Step 2 the “feeling of surprise” (FOS), which seems implausible but predicted from the diversity premises, was measured, and its component might be the critical part that produced the diversity effect. The “feeling of surprise” may reflect the impact of emotion on cognition, representing a strong revision to premise probability principle of pure rational hypothesis proposed by Lo et al., and its roles in the diversity effect are worthy of further research. In this regards were discussed the mistakes that the premise probability principle makes when it takes posterity probability as prior probability.
Keywords: inductive reasoning, segment manipulation of complex cognition (SMCC), diversity effect, feeling of surprise (FOS), Bayes theorem. DOI: 10.1360/062004-92

Forming a general reasonable conclusion from a limited number of examples is one of the most marvelous psychological activities of human beings. This kind of activities is inductive reasoning which is a key issue rising from the cross fields of psychology, philosophy, cognitive science, and so on. It is a thinking process of generalizing from concrete cases. The diversity effect of inductive reasoning refers to the phenomenon that the inductive argument of more diverse premise can obtain stronger mental strength than that
Copyright by Science in China Press 2005

of less diverse one. The diversity effect is regarded as the core process of inductive reasoning[1]. Carey firstly explored the diversity effect. She used concrete items (e.g. dogs and bees) to construct the premises[2]. The task was to judge the possibility that all animals had specific property when such different animals as dogs and bees had that property in common. The result was that adults showed diversity effects, while 6-year-old children did not, which implied that diversity effect was learned. Carey also demonstrated

Under various experimental conditions.[3] found that adults showed a diversity effect in the arguments of general conclusions as well as in those of specific ones. the level of conclusion subjects (e. participants may deductively evaluate this kind of tasks simply on the basis of their knowledge experience. All mammals have property P. mammals) provided is higher than that of premise subjects. [2] Caws have property P.[6] investigated the influence of culture on the diversity effect. All mammals have property P.[7] found no diversity effects in the research of Guatemalan Itzaj adults. The following schema illustrates a typical inductive reasoning task. the conclusion predicates provided are the same as premise predicates.g. Therefore. (ii) The traditional researches use natural categories as materials.[5] found that 9-year-old children showed a diversity effect in the arguments of general conclusions. while children may lack sufficient resources to accomplish that. most previous studies use biological categories at different concept levels as the premise subjects.Diversity effect of inductive reasoning under segment manipulation of complex cognition 659 the diversity effects existed among super-ordinate concepts (e. The experimental tasks of the diversity effect are usually administrated in this way: natural categories (e. which requires more resources.g. and the participants are required to judge which argument is more likely to be true. More recently. and in argument [2]. Hedgehogs have property P. the difference between cows and horses is smaller than that between cows and hedgehogs. Two arguments are then provided for comparison. As a result. in argument [1]. Because this kind of difference exists in one argument. while they did not show this effect in the arguments of specific conclusions. (ii) Meanwhile. Horses have property P. López et al.g. These materials cannot avoid the influence of participants’ knowledge experience on inductive reasoning. also suggests that the diversity effect may not be true. (1) This kind of tasks has the following features: (i) there are at least two premises for each argument. but the results are full of disputes. cows and horses are different. and there must be a difference between the two premise subjects.g. which is the result of subtraction between two DWAs. and cows and hedgehogs are also different. Therefore they suggested that the evaluation of specific arguments needs more cognitive processes than that of general arguments. López et al. Osherson et al. However. [1] Caws have property P. property P/X). (i) As for the stimuli material. The difference between two DWAs could be called difference between arguments (DBA). However. it is impossible to analyze the influences of diversity changes on the inductive reasoning systematically and quantitatively. the DWAs between two arguments must be different. The evaluation involves many comparisons among items. For example. For example. The advantage of this kind of tasks is that they are close to the real problem situation. Therefore. the participants insisted that the arguments with the homogeneous premises were more likely to be true (typicality effect). (iii) In respect of the paradigm. it has some limitations. Using animals and human beings as premises. more research has been done on the diversity effect. and they found that the influence of items’ category boundary on the inductive strength exceeded that of item diversity[4. The Concept Boundary Effect found by Gelman and López et al. cows) are used as the premise subjects. using various biological concepts familiar to local people. it is hard to change the diversity of premises systematically. Related developmental and cross-cultural studies both demonstrate this point. they discovered the diversity effect in Korean undergraduates. most traditional researches use the whole presentation-comparison paradigm: two complete arguments are presented . and blank properties are used as the premise predicates (e. Choi et al. Heit and Hahn[4] even found this effect on 5-year-olds. Nevertheless. it could be called difference within argument (DWA). and it is difficult to quantify the diversity. mammals and reptiles).8].

The changes of Group M in palpus. Furthermore. it is impossible to analyze the operation laws and interactions of these sub-processes simply with the holistic strength evaluation.3 to 21. the research material was new. (ii) quantitative and systematical treatments of the diversity were fulfilled by manipulating local features of these drawings. face. with the mean age of 20 and SD of 0. and the diversity of premises was quantified in order to test the rationality of the treatment.9. face. we intentionally systematically changed some local features of the animal drawings in order to obtain various premise subjects. only one evaluation response can be obtained. respectively. 1 3 were Fig.2 Method The present experiment was conducted by the traditional method where an entire set of question context was presented all at once. To avoid the limitations of traditional researches mentioned above. because inductive reasoning is a complex activity involving several sub-processes[9]. Quantification and systematical change of the premise diversity were achieved because the change of difference among premise subjects represents the change of diversity.1 Participants Seventy undergraduates of Southwest China Normal University took part in the experiment. with normal or corrected-to-normal vision. the changes of Group N in palpus. The artifactitious drawings in Figs. However. In this case. They ranged from 19. The participants were then required to judge the strength of the arguments. Illustration when DBA is 9 d. so the traditional paradigm is not beneficial to the discussion of mechanisms of inductive reasoning. . these laws and interactions are the basis to understand the psychological mechanisms of inductive reasoning. Male and female students constituted each half of the participants. All participants were right-handed. and wing. (iii) participants’ response on each of these sub-processes of inductive reasoning was recorded through applying segmental presentation-judgment paradigm. 1. this research attempts to reform in the followings: (i) new artificial novel animal drawings were used as stimuli to avoid the influence of participants’ knowledge and experience.1 years old. C Life Sciences simultaneously. 1. 1 Experiment 1 Put differently. we used artifactitious animals drawing and gave them novel names that were used as the premise subjects of inductive argument in order to avoid the influence of knowledge and experience of participants. 1. Based on the above analysis. and tail. In addition.660 Science in China Ser. the participants are asked to compare their strengths directly.

And the differences in appearance among three figures that represented three subjects could be changed when needed. but did not give any clue about what kind of animals they were. these two groups of insects looked obviously different. M3. and group N was the sample of insects with wings. and Group N should change in palpus. 27 DBAs could be obtained corresponding to 27 DBAs of group M and Group N. namely. face. Group M should change in palpus. and wing dimensions. The experiment instructions told the participants that these objects were certain animals. and N3 were simply substitute names for animals. Illustration when DBA is 5 d. face. and each dimension had three levels (see Fig. Illustration when DBA is 1 d. Theoretically. each picture represents one argument. 27(3×3×3) different combinations of animal figure representing 27 DWAs should be distributed either in Group M or in Group N. three animals’ figures were designed in a picture. thus the comparative judgments of 27 DBAS could be obtained. Fig. On the whole. 1). thus the combination of different DWA was established. M1. N2. Group M was the sample of insects with eight legs. Because there were three premise subjects in each argument. M2. 2. . designed according to the above idea (Group M was revised from Yamauchi and Markman[10]). and tail dimensions. 3. N1.Diversity effect of inductive reasoning under segment manipulation of complex cognition 661 Fig.

the d will be omitted in the following text). According to the quantitative method mentioned above. their DWAs were all 9. When the DBA was very small (e. The variation tendency suggests that the control of premise DBA can affect the diversity effect of inductive reasoning. the maximum DWA of a picture was 9(3+3+3). when the DBA is 9. the d represents the unit of difference between premises. Because DWAs ranged from 0 to 9. In the present study. that is. and N3 have GAMA in their bodies/All animals have GAMA in their bodies.004** 2 DBA p ** p<0. the systematical change of diversity can be realized. C Life Sciences The DWA of a picture depended on the following principles: if the three figures were different from each other on a certain dimension.4 Procedure We can see from the results of Table 1.g. the DWA of the picture on this dimension was 2(0+1+1). Participants were asked to judge which argument was more likely to be true. which represented two comparative arguments. N2.5 Results and discussion The results of 2 test on the 70 participants’ choices are shown in Table 1. 1(6 5).811 5d 1. The DWA of each picture and DBA of each pair of pictures was controlled. and M3 have GAMA in their bodies/All animals have GAMA in their bodies. if the three figures was identical on a certain dimension. A PC.3 Materials with the following arguments: Animal M1. participants showed very obvious orientation. although it was not statistically significant. the participants’ responses more apparently tended to be in favor of the arguments with larger DBA. but 0 otherwise. the three figures in Group M of Fig. Animal N1.232 9d 8. 1. with once the picture of Group M on the right and the other time on the left. the DBAs also ranged from 0 to 9. which provides a new approach to the further study of The figure stimuli were presented to the participants. 5(7 2) and 9(9 0). if a participant made a judgment in favor of diversity argument. Because the change was in three dimensions. with the picture size of 5 cm×7 cm. with the increase of DBA. More important. The number out of the parentheses is DBA. M2. In each trial. 1). .01.057 0. expressed by 6 DWAs respectively. that is. the more stronger the argument was.229 0. two pictures were presented simultaneously. Table 1 The effect of quantitative treatment on the inductive strength under mono-step condition 1d 0. and 9(9 0). 3 DBAs were designed in the study. it was recorded as 1.662 Science in China Ser. representing a premise constituents of an inductive argument. that is. whereby the premises were quantified and systematically changed.429 0. 1). Each picture contained 3 animal figures arrayed like a triangle similar to Chinese character “ ”. the participants very significantly reported that the more the DBA was. there was hardly any orientation in the participants’ responses. 1. For example. three of the ten possible DBA values from 0 to 9. if two of the three figures were different on a certain dimension. 1(6 5). with a 14 liquid crystal display which was 57 cm away from participant eyes. the DWA of the picture on this dimension was 0(0+0+0). 1 were different with Group N in three dimensions. Each combination of a pair of arguments was measured twice. It is obvious that the change of DBA can affect the emergence of diversity effect. the participants’ orientation was not obvious. and the minimum DWA was 0(0+0+0). when the DBA was up to 9. the participants’ responses began to show orientation: when the DBA was 5. 5(7 2). while when the DBA was 5 or 1. The experimental stimuli are hand-drawn sketches against white backgrounds (see Fig. 1. it is acceptable to use DBA to express the diversity effect of premise. presented stimuli and recorded the responses of participants. Based on that. were chosen. Howerer. the results also indicate that the diversity effect of premise can be quantified. and the number in the parentheses is DWA. therefore. which indicates that DBA is the accurate portrait of diversity effect. Recorded were the participants’ choices with 0 or 1. the DWA of the picture on this dimension was 3(1 d+1 d+1 d.

They ranged from 19.1 Participants mate. Ask participants to infer: Animals M2 and M3 both have Ask participants to infer: Animals M2 and M3 both have GAMA in their bodies.3 Stimuli 70 undergraduates of Southwest China Normal University took part in the experiment. Based on the hypothesis. M2. had normal or corrected-to-normal vision. (ii) The participants were explicitly told that all the three premises were true (participants’ estimates were usually different from it. this kind of FOS can affect the participant’s judgment based on the idea that the argument with a larger DWA is stronger. the above arguments are both true. and asked to choose the most surprising argument. animals M2 and M3 both have GAMA in Fact 1: Actually. which is illustrated in Table 2. The stimuli were presented in three steps instead of one (see Table 2). Ask the participants to judge which of the above arguments is more likely.). Thus Fact 1: Actually.2 Method According to the analysis of relative research reports and theoretical models [11. Step 2 Step 3 . “Which of the two facts above makes you feel more surprised or incredible?” Assure the participants that the facts are proved by scientific researches however surprised they are. GAMA in their bodies. aiming at exploring the mental mechanisms of the diversity effect of inductive reasoning. Ask participants to compare: As for the two arguments inferred from M1 and M2 respectively.4 years old. All animals have GAMA in their bodies. the judgment of the inductive strength was divided into three sub-tasks in the present study: (i) Participants were asked to make an initial estimate of the possibility that three premises of a certain argument were true at the same time. bodies. the participant may have a feeling of surprise (FOS) when he or she notices that the new information acquired is different from his initial esti Table 2 Argument 1 The stimuli in this experiment were the same as that of Experiment 1. consequently they were made surprised. the participants’ initial possibility judgment of each premise combination was obtained. (ii) when knowing unexpectedly that several premises are true simultaneously. with the mean age of 20 and SD of 0. Ask the participants to make one more judgment: Argument 1: M1. animals N2 and N3 both have GAMA in their their bodies. which is more likely to be true? Make statement: It is proved by researches that.12]. 2. and M3 have GAMA in their bodies. with male and female constituting each half of the participants respectively. We call this method the SMCC. and M3 have GAMA in their bodies. (iii) when this property is expanded to a larger extent. Consequently. the triple-step task was designed in the experiment according to the segmentation manipulation of complex cognition (SMCC). And the answer to the current task would constitute the basis for solving the next one. But the display procedure was different.8. Proposition1: Animals N1 have GAMA in their bodies. Ask the participants. M2. we proposed that the diversity effect involves the following mental processes: (i) Individual makes an initial estimate of the possibilities of each premise proposition on the basis of his or her knowledge and experience. (iii) The participants were asked to judge which of the two conclusions was more possible than the other.Diversity effect of inductive reasoning under segment manipulation of complex cognition 663 the diversity effect of inductive reasoning. All participants were right-handed. 2. All Argument 1: M1. An example of SMCC Argument 2 Step 1 Tell participants: Proposition1: Animals M1 have GAMA in their bodies. The three sub-tasks were administrated to the participants one after another: Participants could not see the next task until they finished a specific task.0 to 21. animals have GAMA in their bodies. 2. 2 Experiment 2 Based on the quantitative treatment and systematical change of the diversity effect.

000 0. The response in Step 2 had two aims: one was to inform that two premise combinations were equally likely to be true. In Step 2. recorded the percentage of participants who believed the conclusion based on the arguments with larger DWA was more likely to be true.001** S3 66. Based on the first two steps.0 to compare the difference. the other was to record the participants’ feeling of surprise. we conducted a non-parametric test for two independent samples with SPSS 10. Because the paradigm was within subjects. which might be a challenge to the rationality of SMCC. * p < 0.8% 12.000 0.005** S1 70.1% 67. was there any confusion produced during Steps 1 and 2.1% 9. it was recorded as 1.7% 66. Table 4 DBA Step Percentage 2 The result indicates unanimously that there was no significant difference between the strength judgments under the mono-step condition and the triple-step condition.637 9d S2 68.389 0. C Life Sciences 2.165 0. .326 1. no matter what the DBA was.005** p S1 56. In the triple-step condition.2% 0.222 0.480 S1 63. In Step 1. we further discussed the response rule of triple-step tasks.05.9% 1.556 0.637 a) S1. it was recorded as 1. and it happened for each of all the three levels of DBA.745 0. ** p < 0.4 Procedure In the first step. (ii) The response rule of the triple-step tasks.5 0. and made it significantly different from the nature of the mono-step condition. the participants were asked to judge which of the two arguments was stronger in the argument’s strength. It was obvious that the triple-step condition did not change the nature of the inductive reasoning task. And we could indicate that the SMCC is rational. The second step was based on the first one. If it was not. when material was presented in triple steps participants made judgment only in the last step. By contrast. but 0 otherwise. thereby producing an unexpected influence on Step 3? If it was.244 0.002** The response inclinations in each step under triple-step conditiona) S3 54.8% 0. namely Step 1. S2. The response in Step 1 was actually a judgment of prior probability.239 1d S2 52. if a participant chose the one with smaller DWA.018* S3 66. only premise pictures and the corresponding properties were presented (see Table 2). recorded the percentage of participants who thought it surprising that the premises with a larger DWA should have the same property. in the third step. When the material was presented all in one step participants immediately made judgment of inductive strength. S3. Participants were informed that the two groups of animals were equally likely to have a specific property.664 Science in China Ser. namely Step 2. 5d S2 52.222 0. it implied that the triple-step condition probably had changed the nature of the task.4% 57. namely Step 3.01. but 0 otherwise. and SMCC might be rational. in order to test the rationality of SMCC.2% 66. it was recorded as 1. but 0 otherwise.9% 5.8% 0. The question was how it was possible that all the three animals had a property. Therefore.7% 8. They were asked to tell which statement was more surprising.952 (i) Test the rationality of SMCC.9% Z 0. Having testified the rationality of SMCC. recorded the percentage of the participants who thought the more difference between premises the more likely these premises were true simultaneously. The following table (Table 4) showed the participants’ responses of three steps at three levels of DBA. if a participant chose the one with larger DWA.389 0. The result was as follows (Table 3): Table 3 Non-parametric test of diversity effects between two paradigms DBA 1d 5d 9d Mono-step 51. 2.5 Results and discussion participants’ responses in Step 3 need comparing with their strength judgments under the mono-step condition to test the difference. it suggested that the triple-step presentation had not changed the nature of the task.60 p 0. if a participant chose the one with larger DWA. In Step 3.1% Triple-step 54. The result suggested that there was no significant difference between the participants’ response inclination under these two paradigms.5 0.7% 8. The response in Step 3 was to judge the extent to which the premise combinations supported the general conclusion.

whose main feature was that it divided inductive reasoning into several continual stages. while in Experiment 2. These results were similar to those of Experiment 1. and they felt surprised when they were informed that the premise combinations with larger and smaller DWAs had the same property. Both the responses in Step 3 of SMCC and the holistic responses of the traditional paradigm were the judgments of inductive strength. whereas in Step 2 there was no significant inclination. Since participants showed the effect only when the DBA is 5 and 9. The responses of three steps were obtained in the experiment. Accordingly we could design particular task for each stage. the participants did not show any significant response inclination. the participants’ responses in Step 1 and Step 3 were all significantly consistent with experimental expectation. when the DBA was at a lower level (1 or 5) they did not show any diversity effect. It can be inferred from the results of Table 4 that when the DBA was 5 or 9 participants’ responses in Step 1 were significantly inclined to a premises combination with smaller DWA. It was believed that this design was helpful for observing the responses in the three stages. By comparing this result with that of Experiment 1. the result showed that participants showed very significant inclination in each step. which can prove the rationality of the new paradigm. When the DBA was 9. the thinking processes could be analyzed like slow movies. there was a significant inclination. and the mental mechanisms of the diversity effect could be analyzed based on the synthesis of these responses. Only through the analysis of participants’ responses in the tasks showing the diversity effect can we discover the rules of this effect. that two tasks are equivalent. The three sub-tasks in SMCC examined respectively three different stages of inductive reasoning: initial probability judgment (initial though). the additional first two steps in SMCC did not affect the nature of the task. we can see that when the DBA was 5. This result means: (i) the emergence of the diversity effect depended on the DBA. The responses in the three steps accorded with the experiment expectation very well. let us examine the participants’ responses of every stage under the two conditions. the other was that the participants noticed the existence of DBA but they thought it too small to support the diversity effect. it could be believed that the responses in Step 3 of SMCC were equivalent to those in the traditional paradigm. In Step 3 they tended to report that the conclusion based on the premise combination with larger a DWA was stronger than that with a smaller DWA. 3 General discussion in that it realized the study of the diversity effect. Participants were clearly aware of the DBA in Step 1. and inductive strength judgment. and that the new paradigm does not change the nature of inductive reasoning. SMCC was a treatment similar to slowing down the motion of movies. We will discuss the possible reasons in General discussion. The result of Experiment 2 indicated that there was no significant difference between the responses in Step 3 and those in traditional paradigm. probability modification (belief modification) and the feeling of surprise. namely. Two reasons might account for the phenomenon: one was that the DBA was too small to be detected by the participants.Diversity effect of inductive reasoning under segment manipulation of complex cognition 665 We noticed from Table 4 that when the DBA was 1 the participants’ performances were all at chance level. Apparently in the former case the participants only made random choice. the participants significantly showed diversity effect. When the DBA was 5. If participants’ responses to those two questions were similar. and excluded irrelevant information. Because the participants’ thinking could only go forward with the progressive presentations of tasks. (ii) the emergence of the diversity effect was conditioned. which suggested that the aim of quantitative treatment and systematic manipulation of premise diversity could be achieved. However. (iii) the DBA could rationally represent the premise diversity. which suggested that par- The result in Experiment 1 showed that when the DBA was 9d. emergence of the diversity effect might be conditioned. while in the later case. The advantage of this solution lied .

further study is needed. participants would not feel surprised.666 Science in China Ser. and the denominator was the probability of the premise combination being true. B C . which affords food for thought. By contrast. and A ' C . One is that the participants may instinctively think the DBA 5 is not large enough to surprise them. P( A B) P( A ' B ') Obviously. we cannot explain why participants were not surprised in Step 2 when the DBA was 5. Whatever case it may be. What is the connection between the rules and the mental mechanisms of the diversity effect? What are the mental mechanisms of the diversity effect of inductive reasoning? Heit[1] and Sanjana and Tenenbaum[13] tried to interpret this effect with Bayes’ Theorem. P C | A ' B ' . Then P(C ) P(C ) and . The results showed that participants believed that the premise with larger DBA could strongly support a more general conclusion. when the DBA was 9. so the strengths of the above P( B) two arguments can be rewritten as: P( A | B) = P( A B) P(C A ' B ') and . They had no significant inclination when the DBA was 5. the more probable the conclusion supported by it was. when judging the strength of argument conclusion. they showed significant inclination. It reflected the initial belief that the things which were more similar to each other in appearance were more likely to have the same property. When it comes to Step 3. In this case. B ' C . Lo et al. there is P(C A B) = P(C A ' B ') = P(C ) . participants would feel surprised. which was a manifestation of the diversity effect. however when the DBA is large enough (9) the participants feel surprised. when the DBA is below the threshold. B / C and A '. When the DBA is equal to or above the threshold. For this result. According to Bayes’ Theorem. the participants’ responses in Step 2 were complicated. participants could establish their prior probability only after the presentation of the pictures in Step 1. there are two possible interpretations. it was the magnitude of the two denominators that determined the strength judgment. there is a conditional probability as follows: P( A B) P( A | B) . B '/ C can be expressed respectively as follows: P(C | A B) . The other interpretation is that the DBA (5) is big enough. participants showed a very significant inclination under the two DBA conditions. Therefore. the recorded responses in Step 1 of Experiment 2 were the prior probability of premise combination holding true. It accorded with the expectation from sub-task hypothesis. people are naive to novel material. At present. and suggested that the less probable the premise combination was. In general. In this study. P( B) P( A ' B ') Because A C . It is expressed briefly as follows: The strengths of arguments A. C Life Sciences ticipants thought that the premise combination with smaller DWA was more likely to be true. but there may be some intervening factors in the experiment. the probability of premise combination was in inverse ratio with the strength. However. Synthesizing the holistic responses of three steps.[11] put forward the premise probability principle (PPP). that is. they had no prior probability. there must be a threshold of DBA for FOS. and vice versa. In the traditional studies that apply Bayes’ Theorem to . Step 2 actually included two activities: one was to inform the participants that the two premise combinations were equally likely to be true (which was out of participants’ expectation). participants significantly believe that the prem- ises with larger DWA (more diversity) can support general conclusions better. Based on that study. the conceptual modification makes the participants feel more surprised that the premise combination with larger DWA should also be true. the following conclusions could be obtained: participants’ initial conception holds that the premise combination with smaller DWA is more likely to be true. the other was to record the participants’ surprise responses. thus the diversity effect is clearly demonstrated. The responses of the three steps of SMCC obey certain rules.

now. S. the judgment should be obtained that the premise combination with larger DWA and one with smaller DWA equally support the conclusion. M. 274. Oaksford. According to the results of the study. Conceptual Change in Childhood. participants got to know a fact opposite to their initial judgment: the premise combination with larger DBA was equally likely to be true as that with smaller DBA. thus a modification of prior prob- ability happened( the probability of premise combination with larger DWA was the same as that with smaller DWA. But. which resulted in a modified posterior probability. 30370488) and National Key Subject of Basic Psychology.. Therefore the FOS we observed is probably the mental mechanism of the diversity effect. According to the PPP. This study made use of novel pictures under SMCC and discovered that participants did have a process of forming the prior probability. after Step 2 was completed. Acknowledgements This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 248 Press. N. 1985. the experimental results turned out not to be the case. The basic hypothesis of PPP was that prior probability was modified according to Bayes’ Theorem and ended up with a posterior probability (argument strength). participants’ prior probabilities were modified (to become equal). so does the diversity effect happen. Carey. then P(C ) / P( A B) and P(C ) / P( A ' B ') should also be equal. when the premise probabilities were equal. since the thing which is early regarded not very probable (it is hence unusual and incredible) happens. E. In Step 3. Because the study of Lo et al.. As the similar cases often happen in real life. in Step 2. Further research on advanced thinking activities such as the diversity effect of inductive reasoning. Currently. thus a feeling of surprise appeared). In Step 2 of Experiment 2. References 1. According to PPP. in Rational Models of Cognition (eds. Hence the so-called posterior probability’s being modified by prior probability can only be a speculation. applied the traditional paradigm (mono-step presentation). New York: Oxford University Press. and recorded the phenomenon. according to PPP. although they put forward PPP and analyzed the issue of prior and posterior probability based on Bayes’ Theorem. suggesting that PPP cannot explain the diversity effect well enough. Nevertheless the results of SMCC showed that when the participants were informed that they were both true. the participants were informed a clear fact. they could not measure participants’ prior probability. but it has never been identified experimentally. Heit. Chinese cognition[15]. we can only predict that the two strengths are equal. P( A B) equals to P ( A ' B ') . Therefore. the participants were informed the fact that the premise combination with larger DWA was as true as that with smaller DWA.. the relevant thing in a wider range should also be true. But how is the prior probability formed? It is an issue for further study. XGZ04006). a final strength judgment was obtained based on the modified posterior probability. A Bayes analysis of some forms of inductive reasoning.Diversity effect of inductive reasoning under segment manipulation of complex cognition 667 analyze the strength judgment. But. Why can PPP not explain the diversity effect observed in the study very well? We think the main reason may be that the interaction between thinking and emotion is ignored.). researchers all agree that there should be a prior probability about the event. SWU (Grant No. the data in Step 1 of SMCC were rightfully the participants’ prior probability (the probability in which the premise combination with larger DWA was true was smaller than that with smaller DWA. In this case. In present study.). the present results that participants thought the premises with smaller DWA supported the conclusions more strongly. Therefore. Chater. and thinking[16]. the conclusion probabilities should also be equal. especially the function of FOS in diversity effect will be carried out by applying the ERP technology. we guess that the FOS in Step 2 may enlarge the strength estimate in Step 3 that follows. participants’ estimation of the probability of premise combination changed from being unequal to equal. 2. Cambridge: MIT . Consequently. 1998. cognitive event-related potentials (ERPs) technology has provided more accurate scientific evidence for the complex thinking processes such as attention[14].

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