This article introduces a novel approach for the analysis of the dynamics of reasoning processes and explores its applicability for the reasoning pattern called reasoning by assumption. More specifically, for a case study in the domain of a Master Mind game, it is shown how empirical human reasoning traces can be formalized and automatically analyzed against dynamic properties they fulfill. To this end, for the pattern of reasoning by assumption a variety of dynamic properties have been specified, some of which are considered characteristic for the reasoning pattern, whereas some other properties can be used to discriminate among different approaches to the reasoning. These properties have been automatically checked for the traces acquired in experiments undertaken. The approach turned out to be beneficial from two perspectives. First, checking characteristic properties contributes to the empirical validation of a theory on reasoning by assumption. Second, checking discriminating properties allows the analyst to identify different classes of human reasoners. Copyright © 2006 Cognitive Science Society, Inc. All rights reserved.