The Cognitive Science of Reasoning
A sort of “transition in thought” (Adler, 2008, 1), reasoning can be defined as the mental process by which information is used and processed in order to reach novel conclusions (Johnson-Laird, 2008). Being a most typical information-processing phenomenon, reasoning has been both a model and a key theme of investigation for the Cognitive Sciences since their emergence in the 1950s.
Given the profoundly interdisciplinary nature of the study of cognition (see Figure 1), the aim of the present project is to assess the interdisciplinarity overlap between cognition and reasoning, by carrying out a citation analysis of the reasoning-related articles contained in the Web of Science database and thematically categorized on the basis of the National Science Foundation Journal Classification (http://goo.gl/vjNhPF).
Preliminary results show that the sciences of reasoning are not only strongly intradisciplinary, but also less cognitive than what might be expected, as reasoning research often cite articles published in Journals associated with specialities lying outside the cognitive domain. This research, while contributing to a better understanding of the evolution of the cognitive research on reasoning, will also pave the way for a larger, full-scale citation analysis of the whole field of Cognitive Science.