Strategies and Cultures

Philip N. Johnson-Laird

in How We Reason

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199551330
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191701580 | DOI:
Strategies and Cultures

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This chapter addresses a special sort of development, the short-term development of strategies for reasoning, which occurs when a novel series of reasoning problems is tackled. A strategy is a sequence of steps that enables one to infer the answer to a deductive problem. It argues that the mechanisms underlying the tactics and the sequence in which such problems occur are rooted in mental models, but they include mechanisms for grammar and for detecting formal regularities. Moreover, some studies that do reveal strategies in various kinds of reasoning are explored. These studies support the existence of four different ‘levels’ of reasoning. The chapter concentrates on two levels: strategies and their component tactics. In addition, the chapter argues that strategies are central to the debate about differences in reasoning from one culture to another.

Keywords: reasoning; strategies; mental models; cultures; component tactics

Chapter.  7194 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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