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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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The format in which humans represent knowledge is still not known. Two perspectives that explain the way in which humans represent knowledge are the amodal and modal perspectives. Recently, a modality switching effect was found during a property verification task. The modality switching effect is a delay in response time in verifying the property of an object in a modality that is different from the previously verified property of a different object. This effect is often presented as evidence to support the modal perspective, but it has not been found in a task more complex than property verification. The goal of this study was to examine whether the modality switching effect would be found when evaluating conditional reasoning problems (as in, If P then Q; P/Q). The modality switching between the clauses (P & Q) of the first premise (If P then Q) of a conditional reasoning problem was manipulated to either switch or non-switch. Reading times of the second clause (Q), which either did or did not switch when compared to the first clause (P) were measured. The results indicated that modality switching did not affect reading time when evaluating conditional reasoning problems. However, an unexpected interaction was found between modality switching and reasoning type, the implications of which are further discussed.

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