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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds We are now going to introduce you to a classic psychological experiment on deductive reasoning known as the Wason card selection task. The set up is simple On the table in front of you are four cards. You are told that all of the cards have a letter on one side and a number (a single digit) on the other. The four cards are showing A, K, 4 and 7. You are given the following rule. ’If a card has a vowel on one side, then it has an even number on the other.’ Your task is to name those cards and only those cards which need to be turned over to decide whether the rule is true or false.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds Thinking back this begins to feel like something we are already familiar with. Remember If p then q In this case p – refers to having a vowel and q – refers to having a even number And indeed this is a test of your ability to reason deductively. To cut to the pass – roughly 4% of students manage to provide the correct answer. If you do get the correct answer then genius otherwise normal – most people do not answer this puzzle correctly. The weeks experiment is on this particular deductive reasoning task.

Week 2 Class Experiment: The Wason Card Selection Task

In the video, Rob provides introductory remarks about this classic reasoning problem.


The solution is to the problem is provided next, but don’t progress until you have given yourself enough time to think of what the correct answer is.

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Introduction to Cognitive Psychology: An Experimental Science

University of York

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