Is Psychology Hard or Impossible?
Reflections on the Conditional

Keith Stenning

Human Communication Research Centre
Edinburgh University

Michiel van Lambalgen

Institute for Logic, Language and Computation
University of Amsterdam


We discuss the various explanations that have been offered to account for subjects' behaviour in Wason's famous selection task, and find them wanting. We argue that what is lacking is a good understanding of a subject's semantics for the key expressions involved, and an understanding of how this semantics is affected by the demands the task puts upon the subject's cognitive system.

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