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Description: What does it mean to deny the conditional statement, if you steal an apple, you go to jail? One theory argues that, because conditionals are probabilistic, their denials are too. And so the conditional probability, P(not-jail | steal-apple), best describes a conditional denial. Another theory argues that conditional denials concern possibilities, i.e., they activate imagined situations in which you cheat on your taxes but don’t go to jail. The two accounts make diverging predictions: only the latter predicts that people should assess conditionals and their denials as mutually inconsistent. Two experiments corroborate the possibility-based account: the studies show that both in implicit and explicit evaluations of consistency, conditional denials conflict with the conditionals they deny.


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