Intransitivity Cycles, and Complex Problem Solving

8 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2014

See all articles by Alexander N. Poddiakov

Alexander N. Poddiakov

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Date Written: September 3, 2009


An experimental study of changes of opinions about intransitivity caused by observation of deterministic intransitive objects was conducted. Aim of the experiment was to investigate influence of adults’ observation of triads of objects (The Intransitive Mobile Assault Towers and The Intransitive Gears) being in intransitive relations of superiority, on changes of their opinions about possibility/impossibility of existence of other "intransitive" objects in different domains. It was shown that opinions about intransitive relations of superiority were domain-specific: the participants thought that objects, being in intransitive relations, are possible in some domains and impossible in other domains (though in reality they are possible in the other domains as well). The transitivity axiom was applied by the participants very selectively, if at all. In many situations it was the right solution. Demonstration of different "intransitive" objects caused different effects. Some of the models provide more opportunities for right generalizations (have more "heuristic power") than others. Both types of models can be used for investigation of understanding of transitivity/intransitivity.

Keywords: intransitivity of superiority, intransitivity-oriented paradigm, deterministic intransitive objects, understanding of transitivity and intransitivity

Suggested Citation

Poddiakov, Alexander N., Intransitivity Cycles, and Complex Problem Solving (September 3, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Alexander N. Poddiakov (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics