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Judging and Recalling Arguments as a Function of Belief in the Argument
Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants
  • Michael Wolfe, Grand Valley State University
  • Christopher Kurby
  • Andrew Taylor
Department
Psychology
College
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Publication Date
1-1-2011
Date Range
2011-2012
Abstract

We examined subjects' ability to judge the validity of contentious one-sentence arguments as a function of whether they believe the argument. Subjects read sentences such as Spanking is an effective means of discipline because methodologically sound studies have shown that spanking reduces aggression. All subjects completed a prescreening to assess whether they believe the claim made in the argument. In Experiment 1, subjects made judgments of whether there was a valid relationship between the reason given and the claim. Results indicated that subjects were biased in favor of accepting arguments that they believe, regardless of whether they are valid or not. Accuracy at identifying the validity of arguments did not vary as a function of subject beliefs in the arguments. In Experiment 2, recall of arguments did not differ as a function of beliefs, suggesting that the belief biases displayed in Experiment 1 do not result in differential memory for the arguments.

Conference Name

Conference of the Psychonomic Society

Conference Location

Seattle, WA

Citation Information
Michael Wolfe, Christopher Kurby and Andrew Taylor. "Judging and Recalling Arguments as a Function of Belief in the Argument" (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael_b_wolfe/5/