Hypothetical thought involves the imagination of possibilities and the exploration of their consequences by a process of mental simulation. In this Classic Edition, Jonathan St B. T. Evans presents his pioneering hypothetical thinking theory; an integrated theoretical account of a wide range of psychological studies on hypothesis testing, reasoning, judgement and decision making.
Hypothetical thinking theory is built on three key principles and implemented in a version of Evans' well-known heuristic–analytic theory of reasoning. The central claim of this book is that this theory can provide an integrated account of apparently diverse phenomena including confirmation bias in hypothesis testing, acceptance of fallacies in deductive reasoning, belief biases in reasoning and judgement, biases of statistical judgement and numerous characteristic findings in the study of decision making.
Featuring a reflective and insightful new introduction to the book, this Classic Edition discusses contemporary theory on cognitive biases, human rationality and dual-process theories of higher cognition. It will be of great interest to researchers, post graduates as well as advanced undergraduate students.
Table of Contents
Foreword to the Classic Edition
1. Introduction and theoretical framework.
2. Hypothesis testing.
3. Suppositional reasoning: if and or.
4. The role of knowledge and belief in reasoning.
5. Dual processes in judgement and decision making.
6. Thinking about chance and probability.
7. Broader issues.
Jonathan St B. T. Evans is Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Plymouth and founding and former editor of the international journal Thinking & Reasoning. He has published numerous experimental studies of thinking, reasoning, judgement and decision making, as well as several other books on these topics. He has investigated a number of cognitive biases and explored their implications for human rationality in earlier writing. He is probably best known for his development of dual-processing accounts of thinking and reasoning, a form of which provides the theoretical framing for the current book.
"This book will be an instant classic – a book that every cognitive scientist will want to read. It is a superb piece of scholarship by one of the originators of the now-popular dual process view which should be widely read."
– Keith E. Stanovich, University of Toronto, Canada
"This is a timely volume. It presents an overview of an increasingly popular view of human thinking that currently influences numerous areas of investigation in both cognitive and social psychology. This book will be an essential purchase for graduate courses on thinking, judgement and decision-making."
– Vittorio Girotto, University IUAV of Venice, Italy
"This excellent book integrates diverse evidence in support of dual process theories of reasoning. The book is thoroughly researched, beautifully written, and reflects the erudite scholarship we have come to expect from Jonathan Evans. Anyone who is interested in issues of rationality as they pertain to thinking, reasoning, and decision-making should read this book."
– Valerie Thompson, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
"Not only does Evans provide an excellent review of the literature regarding biases in reasoning and judgement, but he also explains how a dual-process account of hypothetical thinking accounts for a large number of distinct experimental and real-world phenomena... I found this text to be well researched, expertly written, and most informing. Readers of PsycCRITIQUES with an interest in reasoning, judgment, and decision making would most certainly find this not only a good resource but an enjoyable read as well."
– Christopher A. Was, PsycCRITIQUES