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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Peter Wason and His Famous Test


from Wikipedia

Some interesting overview and history of the 'deceptively easy' Wason Selection Task  in today's Nautilus:
http://nautil.us/blog/the-simple-logical-puzzle-that-shows-how-illogical-we-are

Perhaps this test and its implications, by a man who treated "reasoning as an enigma" is even extra pertinent in a week that people are engaged in especially important political decision-making! From his 2003 obituary: His aim was to reveal a surprising phenomenon—to show that thinking was not what psychologists including himself had taken it to be.”

[If by any chance you're not familiar with the task, the article contains an interactive video you can play with.  And it's a fun test to run by students and adults at various levels.]

Also, as with many puzzles I enjoy, language or words, in addition to strict abstract reasoning, potentially come into play here, as the article indicates.


[ADDENDUM:  just realized, this article is a RE-run of a piece Nautilus ran in May 2015]

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