Inference Evaluation in Deductive, Inductive and Analogical Reasoning

Kokinov, B. (1992). Inference evaluation in deductive, inductive and analogical reasoning. In Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 903-908). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.


An experiment with a three-factorial design is described which tests the impact of 1) the degree of mapping isomorphism, 2) the differences in the types of reasoning (deduction, induction, and analogy), and 3) the kind of entities changed (objects, attributes, and relations) on the certainty of the inferences made. All the three factors have been found to have significant main effects and significant interactions between the first factor and all the rest have also been found. Different particular results are discussed. For example, the certainty in the deductive inferences is not significantly different from the one in induction and analogy when there is no one-to-one mapping between the descriptions. Moreover, deduction, induction, and analogy have similar behavior in relation to that factor. This is considered as a possible support for the existence of a uniform computational mechanism for evaluation of inferences in all the three kinds of reasoning, a mechanism which is primarily based on the degree of isomorphism.

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