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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.


Wason wrote the following books:

  • Thinking and Reasoning (co-edited with P N Johnson-Laird, 1968)
  • Psychology of Reasoning: Structure and Content (with P N Johnson-Laird, 1972)
  • Thinking: Readings in Cognitive Science (co-edited with P N Johnson-Laird, 1977)
  • The Psychology of Chess (with William Hartston, 1983).



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