Document Detail

Changing your mind.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19487754     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
When individuals detect an inconsistency in a set of propositions, they tend to change their minds about at least one proposition to resolve the inconsistency. The orthodox view from William James (1907) onward has been that a rational change should be minimal. We propose an alternative hypothesis according to which individuals seek to resolve inconsistencies by explaining their origins. We report four experiments corroborating the explanatory hypothesis. Experiment 1 showed that participants' explanations revised general conditional claims rather than specific categorical propositions. Experiment 2 showed that, when explanations did revise the categorical proposition, participants also tended to deny the consequences of a second generalization. Experiment 3 showed that this tendency persists when participants previously affirmed these consequences explicitly. Experiment 4 showed that, when participants could easily explain an inconsistency by revising a generalization, they were more likely to accept the consequences of a second generalization. All four results contravene minimalism but support the explanatory hypothesis.
Clare R Walsh; P N Johnson-Laird
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Memory & cognition     Volume:  37     ISSN:  0090-502X     ISO Abbreviation:  Mem Cognit     Publication Date:  2009 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-06-02     Completed Date:  2009-08-14     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0357443     Medline TA:  Mem Cognit     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  624-31     Citation Subset:  IM    
Centre for Thinking and Language, School of Psychology, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, England.
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MeSH Terms
Conflict (Psychology)*
Decision Making*
Generalization (Psychology)*
Probability Learning
Problem Solving*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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