ERIC Number: ED436230
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Assessing Relational Complexity in Hierarchical Reasoning: A Dual-Task Approach.
Foley, Elizabeth J.; Berch, Daniel B.
This study used the "double easy-to-hard" paradigm to examine the hypothesis that the class inclusion (CI) task should be equivalent in relational complexity to the transitive inference (TI) problem. Participating in the study were 64 girls and 50 boys, with a mean age of 8 years, 6 months. Stimuli for easy versions of the tasks were displayed visually. A computer was used for presenting auditory stimuli and for recording reaction times (RT). Children were given the CI and TI tasks approximately one week apart in counterbalanced order. Subjects were first given an easy version of the primary reasoning task, then a dual task (easy version presented jointly with a secondary, probe RT task), followed by a hard aurally-presented version of the primary task. The probe RT task was presented alone in the first session. CI problems consisted of presenting a superordinate class followed by two subclasses differing in number of items. The TI task was comprised of 3-term series problems consisting of two premises followed by a binary choice option. Findings indicated that various predicted relationships within and across tasks were significant for boys, suggesting that the CI and TI task are capacity demanding and that they impose similar processing loads. However, some dissociations between CI and TI tasks suggest that inclusive reasoning may be qualitatively different from that of the TI problem. None of the predicted correlations were significant for girls; their performance suggested the adoption of a strategy that reduced capacity demands of both reasoning tasks. (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A