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					Memory and Cognition                     Chapter 7                                       1

Answers: Chapter 13 (Reasoning and Decision Making)

This is a set of questions to help you check your understanding of the material. It is
recommended that you do them right after doing the lecture and the readings for
that section, and then check your answers.

   1. Consider the following syllogism

          If p then q.

          a.   Abstract conditional
          b.   Concrete conditional
          c.   Abstract categorical
          d.   Concrete categorical

       The correct answer is A. The syllogism is abstract rather than concrete
       because it has letters not meaningful words. It is conditional because it uses
       if and then, not all, some, most, etc.

   2. Consider the following syllogism:

          All cats are birds.
          All birds have wings.
          All cats have wings.

          a.   Valid
          b.   Invalid
          c.   True
          d.   Both Valid and True

       The correct answer is A. This one is a categorical syllogism. It was probably
       easy to rule out C and D because the conclusion “All cats have wings” is
       obviously not true. As far as I know, no cats have wings in the real world. You
       might have gotten truth confused with validity though, and decided it was
       also invalid (option B, which is wrong). You can tell that it is valid because of
       the form.. the conclusion follows logically from the premises. The reason the
       conclusion ends up being untrue is that one of the premises is untrue, but
       that has no impact on validity.
3. The validity of a syllogism depends on

       a.   The truth of its premises
       b.   The truth of its conclusion
       c.   Its form
       d.   Both the truth of its premises and the truth of its conclusion

   The correct answer is C. Question 2 should have demonstrated this for you,
   but you may not have understood when you answered question 3. This stuff
   is hard to think about – that’s one of the points of the chapter.

4. If it is raining, then I will take my umbrella. It is not raining. Therefore, I
   didn’t take my umbrella.

   This syllogism is an example of:

       a.   Denying the antecedent
       b.   Denying the consequent
       c.   Affirming the antecedent
       d.   Affirming the consequent

   The correct answer is A. The antecedent is the part after “if” and the
   consequent is the part after “then”. Denying is making it negative
   (no/not/etc.) and affirming is leaving it positive (e.g. it is raining). This is
   important because the validity of the syllogism depends on these forms.
   Make sure you understand Table 13.1 and can see how to apply this to judge
   validity. MOST people get MOST forms wrong, as the table shows, which
   should tell you that you need a strategy for going against this and getting
   them right.
Memory and Cognition                    Chapter 7                                       3

   5. The rule of the Wason four-card problem is “If there is a vowel on one side,
      then there is an even number on the other side.” Let’s say you are presented
      with A, 8, M, and 13, each showing on one of four cards. To see if the rule is
      valid, you would have to turn over the cards showing

          a.   8 and M
          b.   A and M
          c.   A and 13
          d.   8 and 13

      The correct answer is C. This is sort of confusing because the first premise of
      the rule is given to us in text and then the card task itself provides the second
      premise and the conclusion. Once you know that you can figure it out using
      table 13.1. According to the falsification principle, your goal in this task is to
      look for situations that would show that the rule is invalid when it should be
      valid. Using table 13.1 we see that we need to try to 1) affirm the antecedent
      or 2) deny the consequent and look for invalid conclusions that arise from
      that. The antecedent is “there is a vowel” so affirming that would be looking
      at the letter that IS a vowel (A). The consequent is “there is an even number”
      so denying that would be looking at the number that IS NOT an even number
      (13). If you turned over the A and found an odd number, or if you turned over
      the 13 and found a vowel you would know that the rule is invalid. Only 4% of
      people get this right, which should tell you that you definitely need a strategy
      for going against this trend and getting it right on the exams.

   6. The application of a(n) __________ makes it easier to solve the “drinking beer”
      version of the Wason problem.

          a.   Conjunction rule
          b.   Permission schema
          c.   Atmosphere effect
          d.   Availability heuristic

      The correct answer is B. You should know all of these vocabulary words. This
      is a pretty easy because only one was something that improves problem
      solving and only one was related to the Wason task discussion.
7. Bonnie has ordere her monthly supply of medicines through the mail for the
   past 5 years. Except for one order, all orders have arrived within two
   business days. Bonnie placed an order yesterday and she expects to receive
   order tomorrow. Bonnie is using:

       a.   An omission bias
       b.   Inductive reasoning
       c.   The conjunction rule
       d.   The similarity-coverage model

   The correct answer is B. The general idea of reasoning from past
   observations to make a prediction about future situations is called inductive

8. The finding that people tend to incorrectly conclude that more people die
   from tornadoes than from asthma has been explained in terms of the:

       a.   Representativeness heuristic
       b.   Availability heuristic
       c.   Falsification principle
       d.   Belief bias

   The correct answer is B. People dying of asthma is more common, but it
   doesn’t make the news most of the time. Whenever there is a tornado and
   someone dies, on the other hand, everyone hears about it.

9. Lydia is 48 years old, single, outspoken, and very bright. She majored in
   Philosophy as an undergraduate. As a student, she was deeply concerned
   with issues of discrimination and social justice, and she participated in anti-
   nuclear demonstrations. Which of the following is most probable?

       a.   Lydia is a U.S. Congresswoman
       b.   Lydia is a U.S. Congresswoman and active in the feminist movement
       c.   Lydia is a U.S. Senator
       d.   Lydia is a U.S. Senator and active in the feminist movement

   The correct answer is A. Congress is composed of two chambers, the Senate
   and the House. The probability of being in Congress is the probability of
   being in the Senate plus the probability of being in the House. In other words,
   since Senate is a subcategory of Congress it is always more likely that she will
   be a Congresswoman than a Senator and you can rule out C and D. To rule out
   B you need to know that not all Congresswomen are active in the feminist
Memory and Cognition                    Chapter 7                                    5

   10. Utility refers to

          a.   Outcomes that achieve a person’s goals
          b.   How useful a reasoning process is
          c.   The validity of a syllogism
          d.   Degree of risk aversion one has

      The correct answer is A. Be sure you know this definition – it’s a more
      specific one than our everyday understanding of the word.

   11. Cecile has dreamed of owning her own home for years, and she can finally
       afford a small cottage in an older neighborhood. She notices that she feels
       more positive about her home when she drives home by the abandoned
       shacks, but she hates her home when driving past the fancy mansions with
       their large lawns. Cecile’s emotions are influenced by

          a.   The principle of diversity
          b.   Confirmation bias
          c.   Framing
          d.   The law of large numbers

      The correct answer is C. The same principle operates in decision-making
      (choosing alternatives). It is not much of a leap to see how this principle may
      drive consumerism, especially given the influence of media. If I see everyone
      on TV in a big house, I will be unhappy with my small house, even if it was
      fine before and/or the others are far beyond reasonable means. Yet I will be
      willing to sacrifice a lot to avoid the unhappiness I feel. The question is – why
      not stop watching those TV shows instead? And drive through poorer areas
      instead of rich ones? Framing can work for you to make you more satisfied
      with your life.
12. Omission bias involves

      a. Misjudging a syllogism as valid because the conclusion agrees with
         out beliefs
      b. Ignoring the importance of sample size on which an observation is
      c. Selectively looking for evidence that conforms to our beliefs while
         ignoring the rest
      d. Tending to do nothing rather than making a decision that could be
         interpreted as causing harm.

   The correct answer is D. We often forget that non-action is a decision too.
   This is a good question because all of the choices are different biases that
   were discussed in the chapter. Take a moment to make sure you can identify
   the vocabulary terms that are linked to each of these biases.

13. Explain the evidence from neuropsychology and brain imaging studies
    showing how the pre-frontal cortex is involved in problem-solving and

   There are a number of cases where people had damage to the PFC and
   couldn’t do reasoning (meal planning, Towers of Hanoii, changing rules in the
   Wason task, etc.) and also imaging evidence for PFC activation for these sorts
   of tasks in people without brain damage. Imaging research in
   neuroeconomics shows that the PFC is also involved in decision-making, but
   the work also suggests a large role for emotional processing in decision-

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