Reasoning about truth in first-order logic
Journal article, 2013

Abstract First, we describe a psychological experiment in which the participants were asked to determine whether sentences of first-order logic were true or false in finite graphs. Second, we define two proof systems for reasoning about truth and falsity in first-order logic. These proof systems feature explicit models of cognitive resources such as declarative memory, procedural memory, working memory, and sensory memory. Third, we describe a computer program that is used to find the smallest proofs in the aforementioned proof systems when capacity limits are put on the cognitive resources. Finally, we investigate the correlation between a number of mathematical complexity measures defined on graphs and sentences and some psychological complexity measures that were recorded in the experiment.

First-order logic · Proof system · Bounded cognitive resources · Truth


Claes Strannegård

Chalmers, Applied Information Technology (Chalmers), Cognition and Communication

University of Gothenburg

Fredrik Engström

University of Gothenburg

Abdul Rahim Nizamani

University of Gothenburg

Lance Rips

Northwestern University

Journal of Logic, Language and Information

0925-8531 (ISSN)

Vol. 22 1 115-137

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