ERIC Number: ED331868
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Levels of Cognitive Complexity: A Framework for the Measurement of Thinking.
Some theoretical background is presented for the proposition that thinking processes can be measured by determining the levels of cognitive complexity apparent in written interpretations of complex situations. The rationale for scoring interpretations is presented, and some illustrative data are discussed. The approach to measurement of thinking of E. McDaniel and C. Lawrence (1990) recognizes three information processing strands in written interpretations: perception and definition of the situation; imposing an organizing structure; and analysis, support, and elaboration. These strands are used to determine which of the following five levels of cognitive complexity describe the student's work: (1) unilateral descriptions; (2) simplistic alternatives; (3) emergent complexity; (4) broad interpretations; and (5) integrated analysis. The measurement process is illustrated through student responses to a videotape about the manufacture of nuclear weapons. Several studies are reviewed relating scores on the Levels of Cognitive Complexity measure with other measures of school achievement, cognitive ability, and learning styles. In general, the scoring rationale and stimulus materials revealed psychometric properties similar to other available tests of thinking. Implications for educational assessment are discussed. One figure illustrates the model. (SLD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Cognitive Complexity
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).