The abstraction effect on logic rules application
Georgian Technical University
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science/Cognition Research Group
The aim of this study is to analyze the relationship between training on abstraction and the comprehension of logic rules. In order to evaluate the possibility of improvement on logic performance we have selected the particular case of the DeMorgan’s laws. The dispute between the natural logic approach and the mental models theory is analyzed from the perspective of such abstraction effect. Two experiments are reported. The first one suggests that the presentation of a formal proof promotes a better comprehension of DeMorgan´s laws than the use of visual resources or colloquial examples. The second one offers a stronger test for the same abstraction effect. Some limitations concerned with the syntactic meaning of negation and the differences between constructive and evaluative conditions are discussed. Since the meaning of abstraction for the psychology of reasoning is pointed out as critical some suggestions for further research and possible educational applications are mentioned.