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The mental possible worlds mechanism and the lobster problem: an analysis of a complex GRE logical reasoning task

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An attempt is made to provide a new psychological mechanism, the mental possible worlds mechanism (MPWM), for analysing complex reasoning tasks such as the logical reasoning tasks in the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). MPWM captures the interaction between syntactic and semantic processes in reasoning, and so it also technically supports the new mental metalogic theory which studies the bridging relations between two major competing theories in the field, mental logic and mental models, whose accounts are also discussed. An empirical study of MPWM is also given.
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Keywords: Graduate Record Examination; Lobster problem; Logical reasoning; Mental metalogic theory; Mental possible worlds mechanism; Semantic process; Syntactic process

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Cognitive Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Carnegie 108, 110, NY 12180, 8th Street, Troy, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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