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ERIC Number: EJ878526
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Multiple Sources of Competence Underlying the Comprehension of Inconsistencies: A Developmental Investigation
Morris, Bradley J.; Hasson, Uri
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v36 n2 p277-287 Mar 2010
How do children know the sentence "the glass is empty and not empty" is inconsistent? One possibility is that they are sensitive to the formal structure of the sentences and know that a proposition and its negation cannot be jointly true. Alternatively, they could represent the 2 state of affairs referred to and realize that these are incommensurate, that is, that a glass cannot simultaneously be empty and contain something. In 2 studies, the authors investigated how children (N = 186; ages 4-8) acquire competence to notice inconsistencies. The authors found that children could determine that 2 states of affairs were incommensurate before being able to determine that statements of the form "p and not-p" were inconsistent. The results demonstrate that competence in understanding inconsistent relations depends on (a) the ability to represent 2 states of affairs and (b) the ability to process negation in the context of an inconsistency. The authors discuss these results in relation to sources of competence that may underlie the assessment of such simple inconsistencies. (Contains 5 tables and 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A