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Guy Politzer


Guy Politzer graduated in Physics from the University of Paris-6 and in Psychology from the University of Paris-8 where he received a Ph.D. (1975) and a Doctorat d'Etat in Psychology (1993). He was a lecturer in Psychology at the University of Paris-8 and, from 1976 to 1986, a lecturer in the Faculty of Education at the University of Malaya (Malaysia). He joined the CNRS in 1986 and was a member of the Cognitive Psychology laboratory in the University of Paris-8 until 2003. He joined the IJN in 2004.
His early research concerned the didactics of physics and was about the information orally transmitted by the teacher during the course of qualitative explanations of phenomena. He also studied students' preconceptions that hinder the acquisition of new concepts. Then in the CNRS he has focused his research on human reasoning. Against the theoretical approach based on standard logic he favours an approach built in a probability logic framework that accommodates deductive and inductive activities and takes into account the uncertainty of information, nonmonotonicity, and the individuals' exploitation of their knowledge bases in long term memory. He has applied linguistic pragmatics, in particular relevance theory, to the analysis of the components (logical terms, propositions, arguments) of daily life utterances and verbal materials used in laboratory experiments. He has studied the task representation and the beliefs and intentions that participants and experimenter attribute to each other in experimental settings. In the wake of this approach, he has been critical of the methods and concepts used by the "heuristics and biases" school. He has studied conditionals, their comprehension, the inferences that people make from them, and he has proposed a theoretical framework to explain the "suppression effect" in conditional reasoning. His most recent research deals with the natural use of syllogisms on the one hand, and with deduction from uncertain premises within the framework of de Finetti's probability theory, on the other hand.



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