Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos del Principado de Asturias).
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The influence of verbal mood in exceptive conditional reasoning: Indicative versus subjunctive

Orlando Espino, Rafael Rodríguez, David Oliva and Isana Sánchez Curbelo

Universidad de La Laguna

Background: We report the results of two experiments that examine the mental representations underlying the comprehension and reasoning stages of negative exceptive conditionals requiring the subjunctive (‘B a menos que A’ and ‘B a no ser que A’ = ‘B unless A’) and the indicative mood (‘B excepto si A’ and ‘B salvo si A’ = ‘B except if A’). Method: A truth table task was employed to infer the mental representation that people have in mind when they reason with negative exceptive conditionals. Results: Both experiments showed that participants selected the possibility ‘B & not-A’ more frequently than the possibility ‘not-B & A’ when the conditional required the indicative mood, but they selected the possibilities ‘B & not-A’ and ‘not-B & A’ equally frequently when the conditional required the subjunctive mood. Conclusions: Exceptive conditionals in the subjunctive mood lead people to think in terms of dual possibilities, whereas the indicative mood leads people to consider just one possibility.

La influencia del modo verbal en el razonamiento de condicionales exceptivos: indicativo frente a subjuntivo. Antecedentes: se presentan dos experimentos que examinan la representación mental que subyace a la comprensión y el razonamiento de condicionales exceptivos negativos en subjuntivo (‘B a menos que A’ y ‘B a no ser que A’) y en indicativo modo (‘B excepto si A’ y ‘B salvo si A’). Método: se usó una tarea de tabla de verdad para inferir la representación mental que las personas tienen en mente cuando razonan con condicionales exceptivos negativos. Resultados: ambos experimentos mostraron que los participantes seleccionaban la posibilidad ‘B & no A’ más frecuentemente que la posibilidad ‘no B & A’ cuando el condicional exceptivo negativo estaba en indicativo, pero ellos seleccionaban igual de frecuente las posibilidades ‘B & no A’ y ‘no B & A’ cuando el condicional exceptivo negativo estaba en subjuntivo. Conclusiones: los condicionales exceptivos negativos en modo subjuntivo llevan a las personas a pensar en términos de dos posibilidades, mientras que los condicionales exceptivos negativos en modo indicativo les llevaría a considerar solo una posibilidad.


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