6Dual processes and mental models in the development of conditional reasoning

Pierre Barrouillet and Caroline Gauffroy

Conditional reasoning is the form of reasoning permitted by sentences containing the connector “If” such as “if p then q,” “p only if q,” or “p if q.” As stressed by Evans and Over (2004), “If” is one of the most important words in our language because it conveys the production and evaluation of hypotheses by which human beings go further than the extant state of the word to imagine and analyze alternative possibilities. As such, conditional reasoning is central in hypothesis testing and scientific reasoning (Kuhn, Amsel, & O’Loughlin, 1988), and also in mundane and counterfactual thinking (Byrne, 2005), causal learning (Kushsnir ...

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