Chapter 2: Reasoning Study Guide


(use with pp. 64- 89 of the Course Companion)

***you can skip the IB Genie poem pp.65-7


  1.    The first 3 paragraphs on page 64 list some ways in which we reason. Think about your day (or yesterday). Using the terms as a guide, try to write down all the specific ways you used reasoning. For example, if you worked on some math problems for an hour or decided which sandwich to buy perhaps you predicted the surf conditions before you headed out!


I stayed home all day yesterday due to my wisdom teeth being removed a few days before that. During that time I spent a great deal of it with reasoning. When I woke up I took the medicines that were prescribed for the pain in my mouth so I compared the two medicines and decided then selected the medicine that I used in the morning. For breakfast I excluded anything solid to eat and included an all liquid diet which meant I was going to be eating a lot of smoothies and chicken broth. I estimated how long it would take for the pain and swelling in my cheeks to go down throughout the entire day and calculated how long it would take for my clothes to finish in the laundry. When making smoothies I compiled the different ingredients and blended them into a smoothie. I also worked on homework for a longtime trying my best to catch up with all of my missing work. It took counting, comparing, naming, selecting, and compiling. 


  1.    Curate an article or video on cognitive computing or cognition in general that appeals to you. Perhaps you want to find something that has to do with the relationship between REASONING and other WAYS OF KNOWING (emotions, sense perception, and language). Post and comment on. Try out this resource: 


After browsing the internet I found many interesting articles and videos about the relationship between reasoning and the ways of knowing. Below are the links to these articles and the very interesting ted talk as well. 


After watching and reading these two sources I was able to get a better understanding of cognitive computing and was able to but together how it works and the overall general idea of it. I thought it was very appealing when comparing reasoning and ways of knowing because although they are very different I had always looked at them as exactly the same thing when in fact they are very different. Reasoning is something every person subconsciously does, not only humans subconsciously reason constantly within their daily lives ,but many creatures and animals do as well. Since we were babies we were reasoning. Reasoning is the process of forming conclusions, judgments, or inferences from facts or premises. On the other hand ways of knowing are built up of four different ideas sense perception, language and authority, emotion and intuition, and logic and reason. 


3.    Think of a GENERALIZATION you have made or heard recently (see pg. 68). Can you describe some examples of harmful generalizations?

 There are many generalizations that are made everyday almost everything is generalized and judged into categories. I adore chips so a recent generalization I made is all chips are delicious ,but in fact there turns out to many chip brands that I don’t really care for such as lays due to their very oily structure. Overall there are many generalizations that people make especially in history. For example in 1861 the civil war occurred people of african american race were generalized to be less than the people of white origin. They were commonly generalized as dirty, un able to rule themselves, un civil, not educated and not capable of being educated, and as slave workers rather than actual people. This is an extremely false generalization that has been proven to be false during and after the civil war. Although some people still believe this generalization it is in no way actually true. 


  1.    ***note: be sure you understand the term “Implication”, (located in the green box on page 70) – it’s part of the TOK essay criteria.


Implication: is a logical relationship between two different ideas. For example A is true so therefore B must be true too or because of B, A is also true. A and B act as ideas. During class we studied that this is not also true, actually many ideas to not work this way. 


5.    Make up your own variables (actual words) for P and Q in the DEDUCTIVE REASONING exercise on page 70.  (just try this out so it makes more sense) – I tried “Swedes” and “blonde”.


A= fruits B= seeds 

  1. “All fruits have seeds” negated by “Some fruits are seedless” 
  2. “All seeds are in fruits” negated by “Seeds are not always in fruits” 


6.    What are the 2 KEY ASSERTIONS of deductive reasoning? What is the MAJOR DISTINCTION between “Validity” and “Truth”?


The two key assertions of deductive reasoning are validity and truth. There is a big difference between the two, validity applies to the process humans and animals go through when reasoning things and truth applies to actual facts and the general statement one would reason about. 


  1.    Pick up one of your textbooks OR find an article on an online newspaper. Identify its premises and its conclusion. Look for key word hints, such as those located at the top of page 73.  Are there any implicit premises (those not stated explicitly but implied)?  (***note: premises are sometimes called “assumptions”) 

I found this article on mokeys being able to swim on the internet. Here is the link.


    Is the major premise of the argument true? How could one find out?

The major premise of the argument is ultimately “Can monkeys swim and dive just like humans?” which happens to be the title of the article. The major premise of the argument is true because the entire article is supported proof of how apes can actually swim and dive. The article includes pictures and actual footage of apes swimming and diving in a swimming pool. The website I got then information from is also a well known company and a newspaper company where the information is closely checked and made sure to be true information before publication. 

 Is the argument valid? How would you know?

Yes the argument is valid because before this finding people thought that apes could not swim which is why zoos place water moats around the apes enclosure to make sure they don’t escape when in fact an argument has been made that apes can swim making the moat ineffective. 

 Assuming that the minor premise is true , is the conclusion true? How do you know? (see page 74 for help)

Luckily in this articles case the minor premise is true so therefore the conclusion is true as well. The article supports the idea and notion that apes can swim with research and proven videos of apes actually swimming. Therefore the overall conclusion that apes can swim is true as well. 


  1.    Construct your OWN deductive argument or “SYLLOGISM” using the template in the middle of page 73. (remember to go from general to particular…)


All moms are caring. 


I have mom. 


She is caring. 


  1.    Construct your OWN FALLACY, or invalid deductive argument, similar to the one on page 74-5.

The sun is bright. 


My shirt is bright.


My shirt is the sun. 


10. Be sure you understand what “COUNTER-ARGUMENTS” and “COUNTER-CLAIMS” are – as they are a huge part of the TOK assessments. (***if you ever get a chance, watch Red Eye – it’s full of them). Remember that a strong argument is both VALID and SOUND (see page 76)

 A counter argument is something that is opposed to your thesis or a part of your thesis. A counter claim is a claim made to offset another claim. Valid is a form of the argument such as the introduction or conclusion while the sound determines that the argument is valid and true. 


  1. In your own words, how does INDUCTIVE reasoning differ from deductive reasoning? Can you provide an example of how you personally have used inductive reasoning recently? (see page 76)

Deductive reasoning happens when a researcher works from the more general information to the the more specific. It is often called the “top down” because the researcher starts at the top with a very broad spectrum of information and works their way down to a very specific conclusion. Inductive reasoning is the complete opposite. It is when one moves from a more specific observations to broader generalizations and theories. Which is refereed to the “bottom up” approach. 

I have personally used the inductive reasoning study after I first found out that santa clause was fake in the first grade. After finding out that santa clause was fake I then concluded that the tooth fairy, and the easter bunny was fake as well. 


12.  In the last paragraph of page 77, the author states “Much of our knowledge about the natural sciences is based on generalizations backed by repeated observation of phenomena”. Can you provide an example of CLASSICAL induction from your own science courses (group 4)?


A classical induction is often made in my science courses which is biology. Due to the fact that not everyone takes biology and can understand biology lingo I will focus on my group four project where we compared the two different beach environments of lanikai beach and kailua beach. After conducting the experiment we concluded that lanikai beach was cleaner, calmer, and contained more marine life than kailua beach. 


13. Try the “random percentage” experiment discussed in the Statistics area of page 78. Type in 3 different random percentages into Google – what do you get? Try to find a statistic with a percentage via Twitter.


 Women give birth to triplets (or higher multiples) five times more frequently than in 1972. – Time Magazine, 10/26/09 


20% of 4 year olds in the United States are obese. – Time Magazine, 4/20/09 


According to Michael Hussey at PeekYou, the average Twitter users’ followers are 35% real people.


14.  Find an INFOGRAPHIC that not only offers statistics, but “tells the story” or offers correlations (see page 79). Look for great infographics on the links on my site:!best-sites/c1z7m


  1. Provide an example of ANALOGICAL REASONING from your own life. How likely are you to trust your own results, on a scale of 0 to 10?

An example of analogical reasoning from my own life when I browse funny youtube channels and trust that the recommended videos are videos that I would like. Unfortunately there are so many youtube videos in the world so there isn’t always relatable results. On a scale of 1 to 10 I usually trust it about a 4 or 5. 

16.  ***We might play the Crazy Captain’s game in class (Hypothetico-deductive reasoning)


  1.  Curate a TED TALK ( ) that highlights the use of CREATIVE REASONING (pg. 82), post and provide a brief overview. (***you might want to check out TED MED at the top)

Below is a Ted Talk that talks about 4 lessons in creativity. Here is the link.

 Julie Burstein talks about the four lessons of creativity. She uses pot making as an excellent example of creativity. Creativity goes out of everyday experiences such as letting go because creativity comes from the broken places. She also talks about the four aspects of life that we need to embrace in order to be creative. The first one is to pay attention to the things going around us such as events and the environment. Many artist claim that their creativity and inspiration is based from what is going on around us and being open for experiences approach you. The second aspect refers to the greatest things occur from the hardest experiences we go through because it is a powerful topic and stimulates passion. The third and forth aspect is to be able to let go of things that you might cling onto that prohibits you to experience other new situations. 


18.  Look around your bedroom OR your laptop: In what ways do you classify things? What is the method to your madness? Describe some common classifications in the AOKS (Areas of Knowledge, i.e. all your courses). Can you think of an example where technology or advances in science/ newfound “knowledge” has changed the classification system?


After looking on my laptop desktop I realized that I made a folder for each class so that I am able to easily find a paper or assignment that I am working on. I also saved all of my work from last year and placed folders within the subjects folders that are easily identifies as my junior year in high school and my senior year in high school. This is just to be able to identify things and easily find them when I need them. There are also many situations where science is advanced due to technology such as the use of telescopes for biology and chemistry studied and the technology of x rays and gamma wave detectors in psychology. 

19. ***We will do more exercises with classification in class.


20. Pages 86-7 discuss the dangers of classification, i.e. racism, stereotypes, and other prejudices. CURATE a relatively recent ARTICLE or VIDEO  that highlights an instance of one of these issues.

 Here is radio channel on racism and the affect it has on children.

This radio channel demonstrates that children are highly influenced by the way parents describe racism and how they talk about it in an extremely negative way that already psychologically tricks the child into believing that they don’t stand a chance ,or that they are already set up for failure or in the opposing situation thinks they are better than other people. This is an extremely important issue that needs to be solved and which researchers are curating to solve. They think racism should be something that is great thing to talk about and is motivational and encouraging topic to never repeat or to stop doing/ practicing the idea of racism. 



21. What stereotypes, generalizations, or prejudices do you think you have?

 I really try my best to avoid and not have stereotypes, generalizations and prejudices because I wouldn’t want anyone categorizing me in labels and what not ,but I do admit to stereotyping the new freshman in the beginning of the year as a bit immature. Although I feel guilty about thinking that in the beginning of the year because I wouldn’t want people saying that about me. I’ve noticed that they are not that immature for freshman and probably much more mature than my freshman class. 

22. TRY IT OUT: Take Harvard’s Race or Gender TEST: OR the Diet and Lifestyle or Race and Advertising TEST at


* follow-up reflection questions on pp.88-89 of your text


I took the diet and lifestyle or race and advertising test. It was almost traumatizing to take because I felt so bad answering the questions truthfully. In the beginning they asked me if I had pets and if I would intentionally cause harm to animals which of course I said no to because i’d never want to hurt an animal ,but then they started asking questions about my diet and awareness of the animal cruelty that occurs and saluter houses and farms. The horrible truth is that I do know about these things that occur in farms and saluter houses and the harm that is placed upon the animals yet I still buy and consume animal products which is very contradicting. It was shocking to me after taking the survey because I hadn’t really realized or thought about what I’m doing when I purchased that chicken bake from costco or at the hamburger from burger king, although initially I know what goes on in a farm to a basic extent. I felt that this survey was very educational for me because I never really made that connection and how contradicting I actually am, but it made me more aware of what I am actually doing and informed me of how I can ,ale the less cruel choice in my diets. 

The interview I took was designed to explore the topic of moral decision making with respect to animals used in food production. Some of the main research questions include:

  • Where do people draw the line on what is an acceptable use of animals?
  • How do people decide whether a practice is morally acceptable?
  • If people behave in a way that violates their own moral principles, will they change their behavior? 

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