Models and heterogeneous reasoning

P. N. Johnson-Laird
2006 Journal of experimental and theoretical artificial intelligence (Print)  
Human reasoning is heterogeneous; it is based on information from perception, discourse, and knowledge. This paper outlines a theory that shows how these diverse sources of information are integrated, and how they can yield necessary, possible, and probable conclusions. At the heart of the theory is the notion of a mental model. The paper shows how the theory works for spatial reasoning. It extends the theory to sentential reasoning, and it corroborates the theory's predictions about the use of
more » ... diagrams to facilitate reasoning. Finally, it draws some conclusions about heterogeneous reasoning. training in logic. It is a striking fact, at least to some logicians, that such individuals are able to make valid deductions, but how they do so is a matter of long-standing controversy in psychology. The plan of the paper is straightforward. It begins with the alternative theory based on mental models. It illustrates how the theory works for the domain of spatial reasoning. It shows how the theory extends to other sorts of reasoning. It describes how diagrams, as the theory predicts, can facilitate reasoning. Finally, it draws some conclusions about heterogeneous reasoning.
doi:10.1080/09528130600558091 fatcat:zp6ttriugngfbflrtc23h4u3ei