In this paper we investigate the ability to comprehend assertions which consist of a propositional content involving a connective, and a propositional attitude expressing the degree of certainty towards the content. We assume that specific strategies guide people in the comprehension of such descriptions, and we predict sorts of interpretations and differences in the difficulty of comprehension of the connectives. In particular, following the tenets of mental model theory, we investigate the comprehension of conjunction and, bi-conditional only if then, and conditional if then, in context of certainty, i.e. contexts of truth and falsity. First, we hypothesize that connectives involved in assertions declared to be true are easier to comprehend than connectives involved in assertions declared to be false. Second, we predict the difficulty of the connective in context of certainty on the basis of the number of mental models needed to its comprehension: conjunction is easier than bi-conditional, which is, in turn, easier than conditional. Besides, thanks to our new assumptions which extend the mental model theory, we investigate the comprehension of these connectives in context of uncertainty, i.e. contexts of probability and improbability. First, we predict that connectives involved in assertions declared to be probable are easier to comprehend than connectives involved in assertions declared to be improbable, and that connectives involved in assertions declared to be true are easier than connectives involved in assertions declared to be uncertain. Second, in context of uncertainty, because of the strategies assumed to guide people’s comprehension, the number of mental models would not be the only variable predicting the difficulty of the connective. In order to validate these predictions, we carried out an experiment on a sample of adult subjects. All expectations are confirmed.

La comprensione dei connettivi in contesti certi e incerti

SACCO, Katiuscia;BUCCIARELLI, Monica;ADENZATO, Mauro
2002

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the ability to comprehend assertions which consist of a propositional content involving a connective, and a propositional attitude expressing the degree of certainty towards the content. We assume that specific strategies guide people in the comprehension of such descriptions, and we predict sorts of interpretations and differences in the difficulty of comprehension of the connectives. In particular, following the tenets of mental model theory, we investigate the comprehension of conjunction and, bi-conditional only if then, and conditional if then, in context of certainty, i.e. contexts of truth and falsity. First, we hypothesize that connectives involved in assertions declared to be true are easier to comprehend than connectives involved in assertions declared to be false. Second, we predict the difficulty of the connective in context of certainty on the basis of the number of mental models needed to its comprehension: conjunction is easier than bi-conditional, which is, in turn, easier than conditional. Besides, thanks to our new assumptions which extend the mental model theory, we investigate the comprehension of these connectives in context of uncertainty, i.e. contexts of probability and improbability. First, we predict that connectives involved in assertions declared to be probable are easier to comprehend than connectives involved in assertions declared to be improbable, and that connectives involved in assertions declared to be true are easier than connectives involved in assertions declared to be uncertain. Second, in context of uncertainty, because of the strategies assumed to guide people’s comprehension, the number of mental models would not be the only variable predicting the difficulty of the connective. In order to validate these predictions, we carried out an experiment on a sample of adult subjects. All expectations are confirmed.
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Sacco K.; Bucciarelli M.; Adenzato M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/62498
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