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atmosphere hypothesis


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The conjecture that errors in judging the validity of syllogisms sometimes arise from a bias in favour of judging a conclusion as valid if it contains the same quantifiers (1, 2) or other logical terms as the premises. For example, the following syllogism is often wrongly judged to be valid: Some professors are logicians; Some logicians are absent-minded; Therefore, some professors are absent-minded. The reasons for the plausibility of this invalid syllogism are the repetition of the form Some P are Q and the fact that the conclusion seems plausible. Compare conversion hypothesis.

Subjects: Psychology.


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