ERIC Number: ED302381
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Jul-7
Reference Count: N/A
Nonformal Reasoning in Science: The Use of Analogies and Extreme Cases.
This document focuses on evidence from problem solving case studies which indicate that analogy, extreme case analogies, and physical intuition can play an important role as forms of nonformal reasoning in scientific thinking. Two examples of nonformal reasoning are examined in greater detail from 10 case studies of "expert" problem solving. Advanced graduate students and professors in technical fields were asked to think aloud while solving a physics problem. Spontaneously generated analogies were observed to play a role in the solutions, and several subprocesses involved in analogical reasoning were also identified. The use of extreme cases and beliefs based on physical intuition were observed, as well as imagistic prediction reports where the problem solver refers to imagining or picturing an event mentally as he/she makes a prediction. The findings suggest that it may be possible to develop theoretical models for certain patterns of nonformal scientific reasoning. A table and six figures are included. (TW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Researchers
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at a Conference on "Informal Reasoning and Education" (Pittsburgh, PA, March 1987).