1st Edition

The Shape of Reason Essays in Honour of Paolo Legrenzi

Edited By Vittorio Girotto, Philip N. Johnson-Laird Copyright 2005
    248 Pages
    by Psychology Press

    248 Pages
    by Psychology Press

    Over the past three decades, there has been a rapid development of research on human thinking and reasoning. This volume provides a comprehensive review of this topic by looking at the important contributions Paolo Legrenzi has made to the field, by bridging the gap from Gestalt ideas to modern cognitive psychology. The contributors, including some of the most distinguished scholars of reasoning and thinking in Europe and the USA, reflect upon the ways in which he has influenced and inspired their own research, and contributed to modern approaches to human inference.

    This volume draws on both traditional and new topics in reasoning and thinking to provide a wide-ranging survey of human thought. It covers creativity, problem-solving, the linguistic and social aspects of reasoning and judgement, and the social and emotional aspects of decision making through telling examples, such as the cognitive mechanisms underlying consumers' attitudes towards herbal medicines. It considers a series of key questions, such as how do individuals who are unfamiliar with logic reason? And how do they make choices if they are unfamiliar with the probability calculus and decision theory?

    The discussions are placed throughout within a wider research context and the contributors consider the implications of their research for the field as a whole, making the volume an essential reference for anyone investigating the processes that underlies our thinking, reasoning, and decision-making in everyday life.

    Part 1: Problem Solving. P. Johnson-Laird, The Shape of Problems. J. Evans, Insight and Self-insight in Reasoning and Decision Making. Part 2: Deductive Reasoning. W. Schaeken, J. Baptiste van der Henst, It's Good to be Wrong: An Analysis of Mistakes in Relational Reasoning. J.A. Garcia-Madruga, F. Gutierrez, N. Carriedo, J.M. Luzon, J.Ó. Vila, Working Memory and Propositional Reasoning: Searching for New Working Memory Tests. R. Byrne, C. Walsh, Resolving Contradictions. Part 3: Pragmatics, Hypotheses, and Probabilities. J.P. Caverni, S. Rossi, J-L. Peris, How to Defocus in Hypothesis Testing: Manipulating the Initial Triple in the 2-4-6 Problem. G. Politzer, L. Macchi, The Representation of the Task: The Case of the Lawyer-Engineer Problem in Probability Judgement. Part 4: Probabilistic Judgement. D. Over, Naïve Probability and Its Model Theory. V. Girotto, M. Gonzalez, Probabilistic Reasoning and Combinatorial Analysis. Part 5: Social and Emotional Aspects of Decision Making. D. Green, Affect and Argument. F. Butera, C. Buchs, Reasoning Together: From Focusing to Decentering. E. Shafir, E. Carlisle, Heuristics and biases in attitudes towards herbal medicines.


    Vittorio Girotto is a Professor of Psychologyat The University IUAV of Venice and an Honorary member of the Laboratory of Cognitive Psychology at the CNRS University of Provence.

    Philip N. Johnson-Laird is Stuart Professor of Psychology at Princeton University.

    'Overall, The Shape of Reason is an excellent book. All of the essays are well-written, scholarly works, and each essay addresses an interesting and important theoretical issue. ... Each of the essays in The Shape of Reason is a worthwhile contribution to the literature on human thinking and reasoning. Together, the essays honour the the contribution of Legrenzi, one of the field's foremost scholars. ... Progress in any field must involve an understanding of the limitations of its dominant theory. It is possible that The Shape of Reason contains the beginning of such an undertaking in the field of human reasoning.' - Lindsay M. Oliver, in PsycCRITIQUES, August 2006