Argumentatieschema’s

TvT coverThe concept of argumentation schemes plays an important role in identifying real-life argumentation, and in assessing the quality of this argumentation by virtue of critical questions. Argumentation schemes have played a central role within argumentation theory since the second half of the last century. This special issue addresses two general topics related to argumentation schemes. In the first place, some papers tackle the question how argumentation schemes should be classified into a framework, and how they work together in argumentative discourse. In the second place, other papers address the question how language users employ criteria to evaluate argumentation.

  • Hornikx, J., & Jansen, H. (2014). Argumentatieschema’s [themanummer Tijdschrift voor Taalbeheersing]. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University [link].

Writing assessment in higher education

dujal_pbThe present issue is a thematic issue on academic writing. It features nine papers that originate from an international symposium held at VU University Amsterdam in October 2011. At the symposium, which was organized by Rebecca Present-Thomas, Bert Weltens and John H.A.L. de Jong, papers and posters were presented that addressed different aspects of teaching and testing academic writing, with a special emphasis on the role of the Common European Framework of Reference, commonly known as CEF. Some of the papers represented here discuss attempts at relating local or national testing procedures to the CEF (Haapanen et al., Haines et al., Heaney et al.); others address the validity of writing tasks in a standardized writing test (Zheng & Mohammadi) and different methods for the classification of (higher) CEF levels (Present-Thomas et al.). Two papers present interesting attempts at identifying linguistic trends in higher-level learner English (De Haan & van der Haagen, Verheijen et al.). The last paper in the collection (Callies & Zaytseva) introduces a new corpus of academic learner writing and its potential use in assessing advanced writing proficiency.

  • Weltens, B., Hornikx, J., Lowie, W., Poelmans, P., & Present-Thomas, R. L. (2013). Writing assessment in higher education [A special issue of Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics]. Amsterdam: Benjamins. [link]

Overtuigende teksten: Onderzoek en ontwerp (2e ed.)

Hoe komt het dat woorden gedrag kunnen beïnvloeden? En waarom mislukt dat vaak? Overtuigende teksten biedt een overzicht van theorieën over de invloed van taal, tekst en beeld binnen het overtuigingsproces en van het empirisch onderzoek hiernaar. De auteurs koppelen onderzoek naar de invloed van deze boodschapkenmerken aan verschillende verwerkingsprocessen. Ook besteden zij aandacht aan automatisch en beredeneerd gedrag en de rol van cultuurverschillen in het overtuigingsproces. Tot slot gaan zij in op het ontwerpen en pretesten van persuasieve teksten, waarbij zij een overzicht geven van methoden en instrumenten die je kunt inzetten om relevante informatie over de doelgroep te verzamelen. Elk hoofdstuk sluit af met praktische opgaven.

  • Hoeken, H., Hornikx, J., & Hustinx, L. (2012). Overtuigende teksten: Onderzoek en ontwerp (2e editie). Bussum: Coutinho. [buy]

Reasoning and argumentation

Although argumentation plays an essential role in our lives, there is no integrated area of research on the psychology of argumentation. Instead research on argumentation is conducted in a number of separate research communities that are spread across disciplines and have only limited interaction. Cognitive psychological research on argumentation has focused mostly on argument as a reason, and argument as structured sequence of reasons and claims. A third meaning of argument has been neglected: argument as a social exchange. All meanings are integral to a complete understanding of human reasoning and cognition. In this special issue, we present work that is relevant to all these three meanings of argument. The papers by Heit and Rotello (on the effect of argument length on inductive reasoning), by Harris, Hsu and Madsen (on a Bayesian test of the ad Hominem fallacy), and by Thompson and Evans (on belief bias in informal reasoning tasks) focus on arguments as reasons. By contrast, the contributions by Van Eemeren, Garssen, and Meuffels (on the reasonableness of the disguised abusive ad hominem fallacy), by Hoeken, Timmers, and Schellens (on argument quality and convincing arguments), by Mercier and Strickland (on how arguments can be evaluated from audience reactions), and by Bonnefon (on generating consequential arguments) deal intrinsically with situations where there are multiple protagonists in a communicative exchange. By including these papers, by researchers from a range of theoretical backgrounds, this special issue underlines the breadth of argumentation research as well as stresses opportunities for mutual awareness and integration.

  • Hahn, U., & Hornikx, J. (2012). Reasoning and argumentation [A special issue of Thinking and Reasoning]. London: Psychology Press. [link]

Overtuigende teksten: Onderzoek en ontwerp

Mensen overhalen iets te doen: gezonder eten, een gebleekte spijkerbroek kopen, tien euro overmaken voor een goed doel. En niet door te dreigen met een honkbalknuppel, maar door wat je te zeggen hebt. Hoe komt het dat woorden gedrag kunnen beïnvloeden? Maar ook: waarom mislukt dat vaak? Overtuigende teksten. Onderzoek en ontwerp gaat over het ontwerpen van documenten die gericht zijn op het overtuigen van mensen. Het boek biedt een overzicht van theorieën en empirisch onderzoek naar de invloed van taal, tekst en beeld op het overtuigingsproces. De auteurs koppelen het onderzoek naar de invloed van deze boodschapkenmerken aan verschillende verwerkingsprocessen. Ook besteden zij aandacht aan automatisch gedrag en de rol van cultuurverschillen in het overtuigingsproces. Elk hoofdstuk sluit af met praktische opgaven die gericht zijn op het ontwerpen van overtuigende teksten.

  • Hoeken, H., Hornikx, J., & Hustinx, L. (2009). Overtuigende teksten: Onderzoek en ontwerp. Bussum: Coutinho. [buy]

Cultural differences in the persuasiveness of evidence types

Using evidence in support of claims makes a message more persuasive, but it is not known whether the persuasiveness of evidence depends on the type of evidence, and on the cultural background of the receiver of the message. This book reports on a series of five studies, in which the expected and actual persuasiveness of anecdotal, statistical, causal, and expert evidence were investigated in France and the Netherlands, with a particular focus on expert evidence. The findings from these empirical studies clearly demonstrate that there are cultural differences in the relative expected persuasiveness as well as the actual persuasiveness of the evidence types studied. Expert evidence was found to be more persuasive in France than in the Netherlands, although these cultural differences were subtle. Therefore, the findings reported in this book further underscore the importance of investigating the influence of culture on the persuasion process.

  • Hornikx, J. (2005). Cultural differences in the persuasiveness of evidence types in France and the Netherlands. Dissertation Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen [pdf].