Your rules and principles are in control.

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

I believe the most natural decision-making process is deductive reasoning. McBride & Cutting (2018) described it as making and evaluating arguments following a logical set of rules or principles. One form of deductive reasoning is syllogistic reasoning. According to McBride & Cutting (2018), Syllogistic reasoning is concluding based on a collection of properties. For example, if mammals are animals and humans are mammals, then humans are animals. The weakness in this reasoning is the unhealthy assumptions based on believed facts. The logic is supported by factual statements that lead to the conclusion. We use syllogistic reasoning in education, especially in mathematics. We use a system called "transitive law." A strength in this decision-making process is the correlation between transitive law and syllogistic reasoning. It should display a clear connection of decision-making in the educational setting and how we are influenced by what we learn.


However, analogical reasoning, which is a form of inductive reasoning, uses one conceptual domain's structure to interpret another domain (McBride & Cutting, 2018). In the educational setting, we can see the impact of this reasoning when teachers use heuristics to decide regarding religion and philosophy. The strength of using analogical reasoning in this setting is that the teacher assumes based on the same underlying structure. Meaning in an argument, the two choices have an equal playing field.

For example, Christian and Buddhism are two forms of religion. With the presentation of two forms of anything comes a choice. However, many of us result to conformation bias and chose the one that we reason with the most. We rarely challenge our own beliefs with the beliefs of others, because it would require a change in perception, awareness, and norm. One weakness is comparing assumptions made when different decisions need to be made about various subjects. Both analogical and syllogistic reasoning helps make decisions. However, it is all about learning when to use either appropriately or effectively.


McBride, D. M., Cutting, J. C. (2018). Interactive: Cognitive Psychology, Interactive eBook, 2nd Edition. [[VitalSource Bookshelf version]]. Retrieved from vbk://9781544324845

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