ERIC Number: ED205560
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
Is It Formal If It's Not Physics? (The Influence of Laboratory and Naturalistic Content on Formal Reasoning).
Linn, Marcia C.; And Others
The study reported here extends the investigation begun by Piaget of content effects to laboratory and naturalistic tasks. If the accuracy and completeness of the subjects' expected variables is related to content, then performance on laboratory and naturalistic tasks should differ systematically. The subjects' expected variables were measured by having subjects name variables and by a group survey. Use of the controlling variables strategy was measured by four questions about constructing, criticizing, planning, and analyzing experimental results. Subjects of different ages and socioeconmic groups were used. Results revealed a strong influence of content on reasoning performance. Contrary to Piaget's writings, content effects were systematic. In addition, by choosing physics problems and questions which deemphasized content, Piaget avoided many content influences. Thus, it is suggested that educational implications generated from Piagetian theory may be incomplete; content effects require more emphasis. (Author/GK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Berkeley. Lawrence Hall of Science.
Identifiers: Formal Operations; Laboratory Content; Naturalistic Content; Piagetian Tasks; Variables