Experts and Laymen Grossly Underestimate the Benefits of Argumentation for Reasoning

24 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2014

See all articles by Hugo Mercier

Hugo Mercier

University of Neuchatel

Emmanuel Trouche

University of Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Laboratoire Sur Le Langage, Le Cerveau Et La Cognition (L2C2)

Hiroshi Yama

Osaka City University

Christophe Heintz

Central European University (CEU)

Vittorio Girotto

Università IUAV di Venezia

Date Written: October 23, 2014

Abstract

Many fields of study have shown that group discussion generally improves reasoning performance for a wide range of tasks. This article shows that most of the population, including specialists, does not expect group discussion to be as beneficial as it is. Six studies asked participants to solve a standard reasoning problem — the Wason selection task — and to estimate the performance of individuals working alone and in groups. We tested samples of U.S., Indian, and Japanese participants, European managers, and psychologists of reasoning. Every sample underestimated the improvement yielded by group discussion. They did so even after they had been explained the correct answer, or after they had had to solve the problem in groups. These mistaken intuitions could prevent individuals from making the best of institutions that rely on group discussion, from collaborative learning and work teams to deliberative assemblies.

Keywords: Reasoning, group problem solving, argumentation, intuitions about argumentation

Suggested Citation

Mercier, Hugo and Trouche, Emmanuel and Yama, Hiroshi and Heintz, Christophe and Girotto, Vittorio, Experts and Laymen Grossly Underestimate the Benefits of Argumentation for Reasoning (October 23, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2514166 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2514166

Hugo Mercier (Contact Author)

University of Neuchatel ( email )

Espace Louis Agassiz 1
Neuchâtel, 2000
Switzerland

Emmanuel Trouche

University of Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Laboratoire Sur Le Langage, Le Cerveau Et La Cognition (L2C2) ( email )

67, Bd Pinel
Bron, 69675
France

Hiroshi Yama

Osaka City University ( email )

3-3-138, Sugimoto
Sumiyoshi-ku
Osaka 558-8585
United States

Christophe Heintz

Central European University (CEU) ( email )

Nador utca 9
Budapest, H-1051
Hungary

Vittorio Girotto

Università IUAV di Venezia ( email )

Convento delle Terese
Venice, (VE) 30123
Italy

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