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Peter Cathcart Wason

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Peter Cathcart Wason (22 April 1924 - 17 April 2003) was a cognitive psychologist, who worked on the psychology of reason. He made great progress in explaining why people make certain consistent mistakes in logical reasoning. He designed logical problems and tests to demonstrate these processes, for example the Wason selection task, the THOG problem and the 2-4-6 problem.

Wason was an International Master in correspondence chess.

He was born in Bath, Somerset and died in Wallingford, Oxfordshire.

See alsoEdit



  • Wason, P.C. and Johnson-Laird, P.N. (1968)(eds) Thinking and Reasoning
  • Wason, P.C. and Johnson-Laird, P.N. (1972)(eds) Thinking: Readings in Cognitive Science
  • Wason, P.C. and Johnson-Laird, P.N. (1972) Psychology of Reasoning: Structure and Content, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
  • The Psychology of Chess (with William Hartston, 1983).

Book ChaptersEdit


  • Wason, P.C. (1966) Reasoning. In: B. Foss (ed.) New Horizons in Psychology, Harmondsworth: Penguin.
  • Wason, P.C. (1968) Reasoning about a rule, Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 20: 273-81.
  • Wason, P.C. and Johnson-Laird, P.N. (1970) A conflict between selecting and evaluating information in an inferential task, British Journal of Psychology 6 L 509-15.
  • Wason, P. and Shapiro, D. (1971) Natural and contrived experience in a reasoning problem, Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 23: 63-71.

External linksEdit

Further readingEdit

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