Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Complexity provides a better explanation than probability for confidence in syllogistic inferences

Graeme S. Halforda1

a1 School of Psychology, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, 4111, Australia. [email protected]


Bayesian rationality is an important contribution to syllogistic inference, but it has limitations. The claim that confidence in a conclusion is a function of informativeness of the max-premise is anomalous because this is the least probable premise. A more plausible account is that confidence is inversely related to complexity. Bayesian rationality should be supplemented with principles based on cognitive complexity.

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