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ERIC Number: EJ1099312
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
Developmental Differences in Relational Reasoning among Primary and Secondary School Students
Jablansky, Sophie; Alexander, Patricia A.; Dumas, Denis; Compton, Vicki
Journal of Educational Psychology, v108 n4 p592-608 May 2016
Relational reasoning, the ability to discern meaningful patterns within a stream of information, is considered a critical capacity for students. However, little is known about how this ability is demonstrated by children of different ages in the context of discourse with a more knowledgeable other. Thus, this study sought to investigate the ways in which 4 forms of relational reasoning (i.e., analogy, anomaly, antinomy, and antitheses) manifested in semistructured conversations between a researcher and child about the form and function of more or less familiar objects. Participants were a nationally representative cross-sectional sample of 61 New Zealand primary and secondary students, divided into 3 grade groups: early (Kindergarten through second), middle (fourth through eighth), and late (tenth through eleventh). Results indicated that children as young as 5 years old were capable of using all 4 forms of relational reasoning in discourse. Furthermore, analysis revealed a curvilinear trajectory in the observed versus expected frequencies of relational reasoning among the groups. Finally, in terms of the individual forms of relational reasoning, analogies and anomalies occupied a smaller proportion of relational talk when children were older, whereas antinomies and antitheses occupied a greater proportion. Implications for research and practice are forwarded.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Education; Secondary Education; Middle Schools; Junior High Schools; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A