Goldstone Research Unit

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

6-11-2012

Publication Source

Thinking & Reasoning

Volume

18

Issue

3

Start Page

365

Last Page

378

DOI

10.1080/13546783.2012.682352

Abstract

In studying how lay people evaluate arguments, psychologists have typically focused on logical form and content. This emphasis has masked an important yet underappreciated aspect of everyday argument evaluation: social cues to argument strength. Here we focus on the ways in which observers evaluate arguments by the reaction they evoke in an audience. This type of evaluation is likely to occur either when people are not privy to the content of the arguments or when they are not expert enough to appropriately evaluate it. Four experiments explore cues that participants might take into account in evaluating arguments from the reaction of the audience. They demonstrate that participants can use audience motivation, expertise, and size as clues to argument quality. By contrast we find no evidence that participants take audience diversity into account.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Thinking & Reasoning, 2012 © Taylor & Francis, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13546783.2012.682352.

Comments

This article was published in a special issue of Thinking & Reasoning: Reasoning and Argumentation.

Keywords

argument evaluation, argumentation, audience, social cues

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Date Posted: 18 December 2014

This document has been peer reviewed.