Deductive thinking and human reasoning

Principal Investigator

Ana Cristina Quelhas


Csongor Juhos 

Jorge Senos 

Célia Rasga

Marta Couto

João Marques

Sofia Neto




Our research interests are in thinking and reasoning. Our works are mainly about deductive reasoning and counterfactual thinking (CFT), and the mental representations that people construct to represent the information and reason, modulated by context variables (e.g., emotions, knowledge, meaning).


Work in progress is about:

  • Intentionality and reasoning:  Our aim is to understand how people interpret, represent, and reason, with reasons for actions. 
  • Intentionality, counterfactual thinking, and theory of mind : Our aim is to discuss whether different kind of reasons to action, as obligations and desires, could influence the behaviour predictions when children use TOM and counterfactual reasoning, in a developmental perspective.
  • How we use counterexamples: We explore the variables that interfere with counterexample retrieval in conditional reasoning with different types of content, which will contribute to construe a complete model of human reasoning.
  • CFT and ascription of blame: Our aim is to study the focus effect of a scenario in counterfactual generation and blame ascription. Our main hypothesis is twofold: being a protagonist of a scenario will lead to participants generating more counterfactuals centred on that character and ascribing them greater blame for the misfortune.
  • Functional aspects of CFT: We focus the ideia that “dysfunctional counterfactuals” have a coping function after all.
  • Contrast and assimilation in CFT: We seek to understand in what conditions (contextual cues and individual variables) we generate each type of counterfactuals and with which type of processing mode.