ERIC Number: ED357326
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Deductive Reasoning with Prose Passages: Effects of Prior Knowledge, Inference Form, and Reading Skill.
Franks, Bridget A.
A study examined how students make specific inferences from prose passages. Subjects, 44 first- and second-year college students and 40 seventh-grade students, read 3 prose passages, each containing 6 inferential questions. The premise information for each question was expressed in one of six deductive inference forms: transitive, exclusive disjunction, modus ponens, denied antecedent, affirmed consequent, and modus tollens. Results indicated that: (1) college students performed better than the seventh graders; (2) for the seventh graders, the ability to reason from false premises expressed in narrative form was correlated with reading skill; (3) for college students, reading ability had a general effect on inferential comprehension, but did not interact with either content or difficulty; and (4) there may be some improvement with age in the ability to reason from premises inconsistent with prior knowledge, provided the type of inference required is not too difficult. Findings suggest that a high level of reading ability helps students to reason about what they read, but does not by itself account for all forms of inferential comprehension. (Two tables and four figures of data are included. Contains 27 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (New Orleans, LA, March 25-28, 1993).