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ERIC Number: EJ972104
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0364-0213
Causal Systems Categories: Differences in Novice and Expert Categorization of Causal Phenomena
Rottman, Benjamin M.; Gentner, Dedre; Goldwater, Micah B.
Cognitive Science, v36 n5 p919-932 Jul 2012
We investigated the understanding of causal systems categories--categories defined by common causal structure rather than by common domain content--among college students. We asked students who were either novices or experts in the physical sciences to sort descriptions of real-world phenomena that varied in their causal structure (e.g., negative feedback vs. causal chain) and in their content domain (e.g., economics vs. biology). Our hypothesis was that there would be a shift from domain-based sorting to causal sorting with increasing expertise in the relevant domains. This prediction was borne out: The novice groups sorted primarily by domain and the expert group sorted by causal category. These results suggest that science training facilitates insight about causal structures.
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail: cs-journals@wiley.com; Web site: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A