Mental model construction in linear reasoning: Evidence for the construction of initial annotated models

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According to the mental model theory, reasoners build an initial model representing the information given in the premises. In the context of relational reasoning, the question arises as to which kind of representation is used to cope with indeterminate or multimodel problems. The present article presents an array of possible answers arising from the initial construction of complete explicit models, partial explicit models, partial implicit models, a single "isomeric" model, or a single annotated model. Predictions generated from these views are tested in two experiments that vary the problem structure and the number of models consistent with the premises. Analyses of the premise processing times, answering times and accuracy show that the annotated model yields the best fit of the data. Implications of these findings for the mental model theory as developed for relational reasoning are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Ghent University Ghent Belgium

Publication date: November 1, 2004

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