Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 08 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter begins with mental models as the end product of vision, as a repository of knowledge, and as underlying visual imagery. It contrasts them with the alternative hypothesis that mental representations are syntactic expressions in a mental language. To resolve this controversy, it shows that the structure of models, which differs from that of syntactic representations, plays a major role in accounting for the comprehension and memory of discourse. It reports evidence corroborating another major principle of mental models—that they normally represent only what is true—for models of concepts and models of propositions. The chapter then describes how intuitions are based on a single mental model, whereas deductions call for the representation of alternative models, especially those representing counterexamples to putative conclusions. It reports the corroboration of these predictions. Next, it turns to inductive reasoning. It shows how models underlie common forms of induction in daily life, and it reports evidence corroborating the prediction that individuals prefer explanations that resolve inconsistencies over minimal amendments to the offending propositions. Finally, it concludes with an overview of the main principles governing mental models.

Keywords: concepts, deduction, explanation, induction, logic, mental models

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.