ERIC Number: ED154421
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Toward a Unified Componential Theory of Human Reasoning. Technical Report No. 4.
Sternberg, Robert J.
The unified theory described in this paper characterizes human reasoning as an information processing system with a hierarchical sequence of components and subtheories that account for performance on successively narrower tasks. Both deductive and inductive theories are subsumed in the unified componential theory, including transitive chain theory of transitive inference, "IMAJER" theory (analogical, serial, metaphorical reasoning), and theory of causal inference. The basic unit of this unified theory is the "component," an elementary information process that is executed to solve some class of reasoning problem. As each component and subtheory is described in the paper, available data supporting its inclusion within the unified theory are provided; the data appear to be consistent with the proposed hierarchical structure. Although these data do not account for all of the performance variance, neither do they support any alternative explanations; moreover, no alternative account attempts to explain as great a range of human reasoning as does the unified componential theory. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Naval Research, Washington, DC. Psychological Sciences Div.; Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA. Personnel and Training Research Programs Office.
Authoring Institution: Yale Univ., New Haven, CT. Dept. of Psychology.