WHY DO WE MAKE MISTAKES IN OUR REASONONG. JOHNSON-LAIRD'S THEORY OF MENTAL MODELS
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The author tries to answer the question why people make mistakes in their reasoning. According to the theory proposed by P. N. Johnson-Laird, reasoning is a semantic process based on mental models. Reasoners build models of the situations described in premises and then check which conclusion holds in all the models. Unfortunately, our working memory has a limited processing capacity, and so we often fail to represent all possibilities necessary to draw a valid conclusion. The more models we have to build, the higher the chance of making a mistake. Due to limitations of our working memory, we tend to represent in the models only what is true, but not what is false. One of the consequences of this fact is the occurrence of certain illusions: inferences that are compelling but invalid. The existence of such illusionary inferences have been corroborated by numerous experiments.
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