Hypothetical Thinking

Dual Processes in Reasoning and Judgement

By Jonathan St. B. T. Evans

© 2007 – Psychology Press

216 pages | 15 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
New in Paperback: 9780415648400
pub: 2015-05-07
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Hardback: 9781841696607
pub: 2007-05-16
US Dollars$110.00
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About the Book

Hypothetical thought involves the imagination of possibilities and the exploration of their consequences by a process of mental simulation. Using a recently developed theoretical framework called Hypothetical Thinking Theory, Jonathan St. B. T. Evans provides 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, implemented in a revised and updated 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 some apparently very 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 a number of characteristic findings in the study of decision making. The author also provides broad ranging discussion of cognitive biases, human rationality and dual-process theories of higher cognition.

Hypothetical Thinking draws on and develops arguments first proposed in Evans’ earlier work from this series, Bias in Human Reasoning. In the new theory, however, cognitive biases are attributed equally to analytic and heuristic processing and a much wider range of phenomena are reviewed and discussed. It will therefore be of great interest to researchers and post-graduates in psychology and the cognitive sciences, as well as to undergraduate students looking for a comprehensive review of current work on reasoning and decision-making.

Reviews

"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 a 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

Table of Contents

Introduction and theoretical framework. Hypothesis testing. Suppositional reasoning: if and or. The role of knowledge and belief in reasoning. Dual processes in judgement and decision making. Thinking about chance and probability. Broader issues. References

About the Author

Jonathan Evans is Professor of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Plymouth and editor of the international journal Thinking & Reasoning. He has published numerous experimental studies of thinking, reasoning, judgement and decision making, as well as several previous 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.

About the Series

Essays in Cognitive Psychology

Essays in Cognitive Psychology is designed to meet the need for rapid publication of brief volumes in cognitive psychology.

Primary topics include perception, movement and action, attention, memory, mental representation, language and problem solving.

Furthermore, the series seeks to define cognitive psychology in its broadest sense, encompassing all topics either informed by, or informing, the study of mental processes. As such, it covers a wide range of subjects including computational approaches to cognition, cognitive neuroscience, social cognition, and cognitive development, as well as areas more traditionally defined as cognitive psychology.

Each volume in the series makes a conceptual contribution to the topic by reviewing and synthesizing the existing research literature, by advancing theory in the area, or by some combination of these missions.

The principal aim is that authors provide an overview of their own highly successful research program in an area.

Volumes also include an assessment of current knowledge and identification of possible future trends in research.

Each book is a self-contained unit supplying the advanced reader with a well-structured review of the work described and evaluated.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSY000000
PSYCHOLOGY / General
PSY008000
PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology