Barbara Spellman

Cognitive “Category Based Induction” Research and Social “Persuasion” Research Are Each about What Makes Arguments Believable: A Tale of Two Literatures

CO-AUTHORS Kate A. Ranganath and Jennifer A. Joy-Gaba
PUBLISHER
Perspectives on Psychological Science
DATE
2010
 

UVA Law Faculty Affiliations

Barbara A. Spellman

Abstract

Social and cognitive psychologists each study factors that influence the believability of arguments, but they have worked mostly in parallel. We briefly examine and compare the dominant theories explaining argument believability in the social persuasion literature and the cognitive category-based induction literature. Although the two areas ask similar questions, they use different paradigms to study different aspects of the issues. We describe each area's major paradigms and questions and then examine the conclusions that each area draws regarding the role of five variables important to argument believability: (a) the number of sources/premises, (b) the similarity between sources/premises, (c) individual differences in characteristics of the reasoner, (d) the available resources, and (e) the reasoner's background knowledge and beliefs. Comparing the two literatures provides a more complete picture of the factors influencing argument believability and provides fruitful new avenues for integration and exploration.

Citation

Jennifer A. Joy-Gaba, Kate A. Ranganath & Barbara A. Spellman, Cognitive “Category Based Induction” Research and Social “Persuasion” Research Are Each about What Makes Arguments Believable: A Tale of Two Literatures, 5 Perspectives on Psychological Science 115-122 (2010).
 

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