Cognitive Reasoning: A Formal Approach


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For example, when solving problems to make predictions about the state of a two-arm balance beam i. Increased domain knowledge helps children assess more effectively what information is and is not necessary to encode. For example, if a child is attempting to recall the location of an item in a complex environment, she may err in encoding only the features of the object itself without encoding its relative position. With experience, she may encode the relations between the target item and other objects e. Effective encoding is dependent on directing attention to relevant information, which in turn leads to accurate representations that can guide reasoning.

Across a variety of tasks, experts are more likely to attend to critical elements in problem solving, and less likely to attend to irrelevant information, compared to novices Gobet, Domain knowledge plays an important role in helping to guide attention to important features. Finally, self-generated activity improves encoding. Self-generation of information from memory, rather than passive attention, is associated with more effective encoding because it recruits greater attentional resources than passive encoding Chi, Strategies are sequences of procedural actions used to achieve a goal Siegler, In the context of scientific reasoning, strategies are the steps that guide children from their initial state e.

We will briefly examine two components of strategy development: strategy acquisition and strategy selection. Strategies are particularly important in the development of scientific reasoning. Children often actively explore objects in a manner that is like hypothesis testing; however, these exploration strategies are not systematic investigations in which variables are manipulated and controlled as in formal hypothesis-testing strategies Klahr, The acquisition of increasingly optimal strategies for hypothesis testing, inference, and evidence evaluation leads to more effective scientific reasoning that allows children to construct more veridical knowledge.

New strategies are added to the repertoire of possible strategies through discovery, instruction, or other social interactions Chen, ; Gauvain, ; Siegler, There is evidence that children can discover strategies on their own Chen, Children often discover new strategies when they experience an insight into a new way of solving a familiar problem. For example, and year-olds discovered new strategies for evaluating causal relations between variables in a computerized task only after creating different cars e.

Over time, existing strategies may be modified to reduce time and complexity of implementation e. For example, determining causal relations among variables requires more time when experimentation is unsystematic. In order to identify which variables resulted in the fastest car, children often constructed up to 25 cars, whereas an adult scientist identified the fastest car after constructing only seven cars Schauble, Children also gain new strategies through social interaction, by being explicitly taught a strategy, imitating a strategy, or by collaborating in problem solving Gauvain, Children also learn new strategies by solving problems cooperatively with adults.

In a sorting task, preschool children were more likely to improve their classification strategies after working with their mothers Freund, Children also acquire strategies by interacting with an adult modeling a novel strategy. Middle-school children acquired a reading comprehension strategy e. Additionally, children can acquire new strategies from interactions with other children.

Ten-year-olds working in dyads were more likely to discuss their strategies than children working alone and these discussions were associated with generating better hypotheses than children working alone Teasley, More than one strategy may be useful for solving a problem, which requires a means to select among candidate strategies. One suggestion is that this process occurs by adaptive selection.

Cognitive Reasoning

In adaptive selection, strategies that match features of the problem are candidates for selection. One component of selection is that newer strategies tend to have a slightly higher priority for use when compared to older strategies Siegler, Successful selection is made on the basis of the effectiveness of the strategy and its cost e. Cognitive mechanisms provide the basic investigation and inferential tools used in scientific reasoning.

Metacognitive abilities such as these may help explain some of the discrepancies between early scientific reasoning abilities and limitations in older children, as well as some of the developmental changes in encoding and strategy use. Sodian, Zaitchik, and Carey argue that two basic skills related to early metacognitive acquisitions are needed for scientific reasoning.

First, children need to understand that inferences can be drawn from evidence.


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The theory of mind literature e. Similarly, several classic studies show that children as young as 6 can succeed in simple scientific reasoning tasks. Children between 6 and 9 can discriminate between a conclusive and an inclusive test of a simple hypothesis Sodian et al. Second, according to Sodian et al. These findings may explain why, by the age of 6, children are able to succeed on simple causal reasoning, hypothesis testing, and evidence evaluation tasks.

For example, Schauble presented children aged with a computerized task in which they had to determine which of five factors affect the speed of racing cars. They used a positive test strategy, testing variables believed to influence speed e. Some children recorded features without outcomes, or outcomes without features, but most wrote down nothing at all, relying on memory for details of experiments carried out over an eight-week period.

Although the performance differences between younger and older children may be interpreted as potentially contradictory, the differing cognitive and metacognitive demands of tasks used to study scientific reasoning at different ages may account for some of the disconnect in conclusions. Even though the simple tasks given to preschoolers and young children require them to understand evidence as a source of knowledge, such tasks require the cognitive abilities of induction and pattern recognition, but only limited metacognitive abilities.

In contrast, the tasks used to study the development of scientific reasoning in older children and adults are more demanding and focused on hypothetico-deductive reasoning; they include more variables, involve more complex causal structures, require varying levels of domain knowledge, and are negotiated across much longer time scales. Moreover, the tasks given to older children and adults involve the acquisition, selection, and coordination of investigation strategies, combining background knowledge with empirical evidence.

The results of investigation activities are then used in the acquisition, selection, and coordinationof evidence evaluation and inference strategies. With respect to encoding, increases in task complexity require attending to more information and making judgments about which features are relevant. Sodian and Bullock also argue that mature scientific reasoning involves the metastrategic process of being able to think explicitly about hypotheses and evidence, and that this skill is not fully mastered until adolescence at the very earliest.

According to Amsel et al. Kuhn argues that the effective coordination of theory and evidence depends on three metacognitive abilities: a The ability to encode and represent evidence and theory separately, so that relations between them can be recognized; b the ability to treat theories as independent objects of thought i. When we consider these cognitive and metacognitive abilities in the larger social context, it is clear that skills that are highly valued by the scientific community may be at odds with the cultural and intuitive views of the individual reasoner Lemke, Thus, it often takes time for conceptual change to occur; evidence is not just evaluated in the context of the science investigation and science classroom, but within personal and community values.

Returning to the encoding and retrieval of information relevant to scientific reasoning tasks, many studies demonstrate that both children and adults are not always aware of their memory limitations while engaged in investigation tasks e. Kanari and Millar found that children differentially recorded the results of experiments, depending on familiarity or strength of prior beliefs.

For example, to year-olds recorded more data points when experimenting with unfamiliar items e. Overall, children are less likely than adults to record experimental designs and outcomes, or to review notes they do keep, despite task demands that clearly necessitate a reliance on external memory aids. Children are often asked to judge their memory abilities, and memory plays an important role in scientific reasoning.

Young children view all strategies on memory tasks as equally effective, whereas 8- to year-olds start to discriminate between strategies, and year-olds know which strategies work best Justice, ; Schneider, The development of metamemory continues through adolescence Schneider, , so there may not be a particular age that memory and metamemory limitations are no longer a consideration for children and adolescents engaged in complex scientific reasoning tasks.

However, it seems likely that metamemory limitations are more profound for children under years. Likewise, the acquisition of other metacognitive and metastrategic skills is a gradual process. Early strategies for coordinating theory and evidence are replaced with better ones, but there is not a stage-like change from using an older strategy to a newer one. However, metastrategic competence does not appear to routinely develop in the absence of instruction. Kuhn and her colleagues have incorporated the use of specific practice opportunities and prompts to help children develop these types of competencies.

For example, Kuhn, Black, Keselman, and Kaplan incorporated performance-level practice and metastrategic-level practice for sixth- to eighth-grade students. Performance-level exercise consisted of standard exploration of the task environment, whereas metalevel practice consisted of scenarios in which two individuals disagreed about the effect of a particular feature in a multivariable situation.

Students then evaluated different strategies that could be used to resolve the disagreement. Such scenarios were provided twice a week during the course of ten weeks. Although no performance differences were found between the two types of practice with respect to the number of valid inferences, there were more sizeable differences in measures of understanding of task objectives and strategies i.

Similarly, Zohar and Peled focused instruction in the control-of-variables strategy CVS on metastrategic competence. Fifth-graders were given a computerized task in which they had to determine the effects of five variables on seed germination. Students in the control group were taught about seed germination, and students in the experimental group were given a metastrategic knowledge intervention over several sessions.

The intervention consisted of describing CVS, discussing when it should be used, and discussing what features of a task indicate that CVS should be used. At about two to four years of age, children cannot yet manipulate and transform information in a logical way. However, they now can think in images and symbols.

Other examples of mental abilities are language and pretend play. Symbolic play is when children develop imaginary friends or role-play with friends. Some examples of symbolic play include playing house, or having a tea party. Interestingly, the type of symbolic play in which children engage is connected with their level of creativity and ability to connect with others.

Reasoning on Deontic Rules : The Pragmatic Schémas Approach

Children tend to stick to their own viewpoint, rather than consider the view of others. In this experiment, three views of a mountain are shown to the child, who is asked what a traveling doll would see at the various angles. Animism is the belief that inanimate objects are capable of actions and have lifelike qualities.

An example could be a child believing that the sidewalk was mad and made them fall down, or that the stars twinkle in the sky because they are happy. Artificialism refers to the belief that environmental characteristics can be attributed to human actions or interventions. For example, a child might say that it is windy outside because someone is blowing very hard, or the clouds are white because someone painted them that color.

Finally, precausal thinking is categorized by transductive reasoning. Transductive reasoning is when a child fails to understand the true relationships between cause and effect. For example, if a child hears the dog bark and then a balloon popped, the child would conclude that because the dog barked, the balloon popped. At between about the ages of 4 and 7, children tend to become very curious and ask many questions, beginning the use of primitive reasoning. There is an emergence in the interest of reasoning and wanting to know why things are the way they are.

Centration is the act of focusing all attention on one characteristic or dimension of a situation, whilst disregarding all others. Children at this stage are unaware of conservation and exhibit centration. In this task, a child is presented with two identical beakers containing the same amount of liquid. The child usually notes that the beakers do contain the same amount of liquid.

When one of the beakers is poured into a taller and thinner container, children who are younger than seven or eight years old typically say that the two beakers no longer contain the same amount of liquid, and that the taller container holds the larger quantity centration , without taking into consideration the fact that both beakers were previously noted to contain the same amount of liquid. Due to superficial changes, the child was unable to comprehend that the properties of the substances continued to remain the same conservation.

Irreversibility is a concept developed in this stage which is closely related to the ideas of centration and conservation. Irreversibility refers to when children are unable to mentally reverse a sequence of events. In the same beaker situation, the child does not realize that, if the sequence of events was reversed and the water from the tall beaker was poured back into its original beaker, then the same amount of water would exist. When two rows containing equal amounts of blocks are placed in front of a child, one row spread farther apart than the other, the child will think that the row spread farther contains more blocks.

What is intelligence?

Class inclusion refers to a kind of conceptual thinking that children in the preoperational stage cannot yet grasp. The girl knows what cats and dogs are, and she is aware that they are both animals.

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Reasoning on Deontic Rules : The Pragmatic Schémas Approach - Persée

This is due to her difficulty focusing on the two subclasses and the larger class all at the same time. Transitive inference is using previous knowledge to determine the missing piece, using basic logic. Children in the preoperational stage lack this logic. They start solving problems in a more logical fashion. Children in this stage commonly experience difficulties with figuring out logic in their heads. Two other important processes in the concrete operational stage are logic and the elimination of egocentrism. It is the phase where the thought and morality of the child is completely self focused.

For instance, show a child a comic in which Jane puts a doll under a box, leaves the room, and then Melissa moves the doll to a drawer, and Jane comes back.

Understanding and knowing how to use full common sense has not yet been completely adapted. Piaget determined that children in the concrete operational stage were able to incorporate inductive logic. On the other hand, children at this age have difficulty using deductive logic, which involves using a general principle to predict the outcome of a specific event.

This includes mental reversibility. An example of this is being able to reverse the order of relationships between mental categories. For example, a child might be able to recognize that his or her dog is a Labrador, that a Labrador is a dog, and that a dog is an animal, and draw conclusions from the information available, as well as apply all these processes to hypothetical situations.

During this stage the young person begins to entertain possibilities for the future and is fascinated with what they can be. Adolescents also are changing cognitively by the way that they think about social matters. However, it carries over to the formal operational stage when they are then faced with abstract thought and fully logical thinking. Piagetian tests are well known and practiced to test for concrete operations. The most prevalent tests are those for conservation. There are some important aspects that the experimenter must take into account when performing experiments with these children.

One example of an experiment for testing conservation is an experimenter will have two glasses that are the same size, fill them to the same level with liquid, which the child will acknowledge is the same. Then, the experimenter will pour the liquid from one of the small glasses into a tall, thin glass. The experimenter will then ask the child if the taller glass has more liquid, less liquid, or the same amount of liquid.

The child will then give his answer. The experimenter will ask the child why he gave his answer, or why he thinks that is. During this time, people develop the ability to think about abstract concepts. It is often required in science and mathematics. This capability results from their capacity to think hypothetically. Piaget and his colleagues conducted several experiments to assess formal operational thought. In one of the experiments, Piaget evaluated the cognitive capabilities of children of different ages through the use of a scale and varying weights.

The task was to balance the scale by hooking weights on the ends of the scale. To successfully complete the task, the children must use formal operational thought to realize that the distance of the weights from the center and the heaviness of the weights both affected the balance. A heavier weight has to be placed closer to the center of the scale, and a lighter weight has to be placed farther from the center, so that the two weights balance each other.

By age 10, children could think about location but failed to use logic and instead used trial-and-error. Finally, by age 13 and 14, in early adolescence, some children more clearly understood the relationship between weight and distance and could successfully implement their hypothesis.

Table of Contents for: Cognitive reasoning : a formal approach

Piaget gives the example of a child believing that the moon and stars follow him on a night walk. This conjunction of natural and non-natural causal explanations supposedly stems from experience itself, though Piaget does not make much of an attempt to describe the nature of the differences in conception. The stage of cognitive growth of a person differ from another. It affects and influences how someone thinks about everything including flowers. A 7-month old infant, in the sensorimotor age, flowers are recognized by smelling, pulling and biting.

A slightly older child has not realized that a flower is not fragrant, but similar to many children at her age, her egocentric, two handed curiosity will teach her. In the formal operational stage of an adult, flowers are part of larger, logical scheme. They are used either to earn money or to create beauty. Cognitive development or thinking is an active process from the beginning to the end of life. To achieve this balance, the easiest way is to understand the new experiences through the lens of the preexisting ideas.

However, the application of standardized Piagetian theory and procedures in different societies established widely varying results that lead some to speculate not only that some cultures produce more cognitive development than others but that without specific kinds of cultural experience, but also formal schooling, development might cease at certain level, such as concrete operational level. A procedure was done following methods developed in Geneva. Participants were presented with two beakers of equal circumference and height, filled with equal amounts of water.

An intelligent approach for reasoning the stories using case based reasoning and rule based reasoning Abstract: Reasoning is the cognitive process of analyzing for certain conclusion, beliefs. Because of sixth sense, the human beings can analyze the facts and derive the conclusion from it. In the artificial intelligence era, to make the computer system to analyze and reason the facts and derive the conclusion is very difficult to perform. The reasoner algorithm helps to reason the stories for the dynamic construction of new stories with help of ontology.

Ontology is a formal explicit shared conceptualization for anything that exists in the world. Ontology helps to check the semantic consistency based on the domain knowledge acquired.

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Cognitive Reasoning: A Formal Approach Cognitive Reasoning: A Formal Approach
Cognitive Reasoning: A Formal Approach Cognitive Reasoning: A Formal Approach
Cognitive Reasoning: A Formal Approach Cognitive Reasoning: A Formal Approach
Cognitive Reasoning: A Formal Approach Cognitive Reasoning: A Formal Approach
Cognitive Reasoning: A Formal Approach Cognitive Reasoning: A Formal Approach
Cognitive Reasoning: A Formal Approach Cognitive Reasoning: A Formal Approach
Cognitive Reasoning: A Formal Approach Cognitive Reasoning: A Formal Approach
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