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.


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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