The probability of iterated conditionals

van Wijnbergen-Huitink, J., Elqayam, S. & Over, D. E., May-2015, In : Cognitive Science. 39, 4, p. 788-803 16 p.

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  • Janneke van Wijnbergen-Huitink
  • Shira Elqayam
  • David E. Over
Iterated conditionals of the form If p, then if q, r are an important topic in philosophical logic. In recent years, psychologists have gained much
knowledge about how people understand simple conditionals, but there are virtually no published psychological studies of iterated conditionals. This paper presents experimental evidence from a study comparing the iterated form, If p, then if q, then r with the ‘imported’, non-iterated form, If p and q, then r, using a probability evaluation task and a truth table task, and taking into account qualitative individual differences. This allows us to critically contrast philosophical and psychological approaches that make diverging predictions regarding the interpretation of these forms. The results strongly support the probabilistic Adams conditional, and the ‘new
paradigm’ that takes this conditional as a starting point.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)788-803
Number of pages16
JournalCognitive Science
Issue number4
Early online date19-Sep-2014
Publication statusPublished - May-2015


  • defective truth-table, Indicative conditionals, iterated conditionals, decision-theoretic account of reasoning, probability

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