ERIC Number: ED040759
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1970-Mar-6
Reference Count: 0
A Factor Analytic Study of Children's Causal Reasoning.
Berzonsky, Michael D.
Because knowledge of the component subskills of causal reasoning would aid in planning elementary science curricula, this study sought to identify component abilities through the individual administration of a battery of 29 tests to a randomly-selected sample of 84 first-graders, evenly divided by sex. These tests were: (1) verbal tests of causality (3 variables), (2) hypothesized causal components (10 variables), (3) causal demonstrations (8 variables), (4) Piagetian concrete operational tasks (5 variables), (5) Piagetian formal operational tasks (2 variables), (6) intelligence (1 variable), and (7) descriptive measure (1 variable). The results were analyzed by submitting the 30 variables to a maximum-likelihood factor analysis with a varimax rotation. Through this process, a verbal causal reasoning factor, including the 5 component subskills of chance, skepticism, perspectives, completing "because" statements, and detecting incongruous causal relations, was identified. Other results fail to support both Piaget's theory that preoperational thought leads to precausal explanations and Piaget and Inhelder's theory of the unitary nature of logical thinking. Rather, results suggest that at least 3 relatively independent abilities are involved in logical thinking. (MH)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Causality; Piaget (Jean)
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 6, 1970