Evaluative feedback can improve deductive reasoning

Abstract

We examine whether reasoning is improved by evaluative feedback, i.e., the information of whether a reasoner’s answer was correct or incorrect, and report two studies that show that evaluative feedback increases the chances that participants will produce normatively correct responses for deductive reasoning problems. In Experiment 1, participants who were given feedback about their performance did better on problems based on disjunctions that were designed to elicit illusory inferences. In Experiment 2, participants answered difficult syllogisms with more accuracy when they were provided with feedback. We conclude by contrasting the rule- , heuristics-, and model-based accounts of deduction on their ability to explain the effects of evaluative feedback.


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