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ERIC Number: EJ850187
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Mar
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-1363-755X
Syllogistic Reasoning and Belief-Bias Inhibition in School Children: Evidence from a Negative Priming Paradigm
Moutier, Sylvain; Plagne-Cayeux, Stephanie; Melot, Anne-Marie; Houde, Olivier
Developmental Science, v9 n2 p166-172 Mar 2006
Research on deductive reasoning in adolescents and adults has shown that errors in deductive logic are not necessarily due to a lack of logical ability but can stem from an executive failure to inhibit biases. Few studies have examined this dissociation in children. Here, we used a negative priming paradigm with 64 children (8-10 years old) to test the role of cognitive inhibition in syllogisms with belief-bias effects. On trials where negative priming was predicted, results were as follows: For the first syllogism (A), the strategy "unbelievable-equals-invalid" had to be inhibited. The logic of the syllogism led to affirming a conclusion inconsistent with one's knowledge of the world, such as "All elephants are light." For the second syllogism (B), one's real-world knowledge and the syllogism's logic were congruent but the latter required affirming exactly what had been inhibited for A (i.e. that elephants are heavy). A negative priming effect on the A-B sequence was reflected in a significant drop in reasoning performance on B. This supports the idea that during cognitive development, inhibitory control is required for success on syllogisms where beliefs and logic interfere.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A