Disjunctions with Moving Targets

Abstract

Findings from three experiments are reported, investigating the role of perceptual and general cognitive factors for judging the truth of disjunctive sentences. In departure from traditional methods involving static displays such as toys in boxes or drawings on slides (e.g. Braine & Rumain, 1981; Paris, 1973), moving targets were included as testing materials. The properties of targets and their trajectories were found to determine the interpretation of disjunction, with an overwhelming shift from ‘inclusive’ responses in trials involving static targets to ‘exclusive’ responses in trials with moving targets. The ‘exclusivity presupposition’ was thus triggered despite a considerably enhanced perceptual or cognitive load involved in processing spatial cues (cf. Pulvermueller et al., 2001).


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