Real objects can impede conditional reasoning but augmented objects do not

Yuri Sato, Yutaro Sugimoto, Kazuhiro Ueda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, Knauff and Johnson-Laird's (2002) visual impedance hypothesis (i.e., mental representations with irrelevant visual detail can impede reasoning) is applied to the domain of external representations and diagrammatic reasoning. We show that the use of real objects and augmented real (AR) objects can control human interpretation and reasoning about conditionals. As participants made inferences (e.g., an invalid one from "if P then Q" to "P"), they also moved objects corresponding to premises. Participants who moved real objects made more invalid inferences than those who moved AR objects and those who did not manipulate objects (there was no significant difference between the last two groups). Our results showed that real objects impeded conditional reasoning, but AR objects did not. These findings are explained by the fact that real objects may over-specify a single state that exists, while AR objects suggest multiple possibilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-707
Number of pages17
JournalCognitive Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2017


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