The History of Reasoning Research

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The study of reasoning has a long and fascinating history. This chapter examines many of the approaches that have led to our current understanding of this field. There was remarkable progress made in the 20th century. The field moved from a philosophical area of inquiry, in which the only experiments were primarily involving intuition and introspection about one's mental processes. The methods of experimental psychology enabled researchers to examine the role of context in reasoning accuracy and speed. Additionally, these methods enabled researchers to find consistencies across people forming principles of reasoning. Psychology continues to participate strongly in the multidisciplinary field of reasoning research. As we will see in the coming chapters, important contributions to reasoning research are being made from neuroscience, comparative psychology, cognitive development, aging research, neurology, psychiatry, and behavioral economics. Social psychologists, as well as technological innovators including game developers, computer modelers, and software developers, are playing increasingly large roles in this research area. Reasoning has come a long way and has a bright and exciting future thanks in large part to the continuing development of methods and technological advances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationReasoning
Subtitle of host publicationThe Neuroscience of how we Think
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9780128092859
ISBN (Print)9780128095768
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Behaviorism
  • Cognitive
  • Deduction
  • Developmental
  • Gestalt
  • Induction
  • Neuroimaging
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Reasoning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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