ERIC Number: ED108022
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Using and Testing Hypotheses in Concept Attainment by Children.
Berger, Dale E.; Richardson, Robert P.
Hypothesis behavior on three dimensional concept attainment problems was measured for 48 children (12 each at grades K, 2, 4, and 6). Every feedback trial was followed by a blank trial, a procedure that provided separate measures of Ss' ability to use hypotheses and test hypotheses. A S was considered to be "using" when his hypothesis inferred from a blank trial was consistent with his choice on the next feedback trial. Given that a S was "using", he was considered to be "testing" when he correctly reevaluated his hypothesis following a feedback trial (win-stay, lose-switch). Young children did not use hypotheses as often as older children, and those who did use hypotheses tended to be less successful than older children in testing for validity. In particular, the youngest children were more likely to retain an incorrect hypothesis in spite of repeated negative feedback. Although younger children were less successful in reaching solution, those who did solve were likely to solve as fast as older children who solved. The usual dimensional preferences were not found: Children from each age group solved equally often using color, number, and shape dimensions. Experience with all three dimensions on the training tasks may have removed initial biases. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Presented at the Annual Convention of the Western Psychological Association (54th, San Francisco, California, April 25-28, 1974)