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Models and heterogeneous reasoning

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Human reasoning is heterogeneous; it is based on information from perception, discourse, and knowledge. This paper outlines a theory that shows how these diverse sources of information are integrated, and how they can yield necessary, possible, and probable conclusions. At the heart of the theory is the notion of a mental model. The paper shows how the theory works for spatial reasoning. It extends the theory to sentential reasoning, and it corroborates the theory's predictions about the use of diagrams to facilitate reasoning. Finally, it draws some conclusions about heterogeneous reasoning.
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Keywords: Heterogeneous reasoning; Human reasoning; Mental models; Sentential reasoning; Spatial reasoning

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, Princeton University, Green Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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