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Reasoning with Raven - with and without help

Roberts, Maxwell J and Stevenson, Nicola J (1996) 'Reasoning with Raven - with and without help.' British Journal of Educational Psychology, 66 (4). pp. 519-532. ISSN 0007-0998

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Richardson (1991) showed that children's performance at items from Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices could be boosted by converting the elements to real-life objects and setting them in a realistic context. From this, he concluded that people reason exclusively by using context dependent schemas and hence that measures of abstract reasoning ability may give a misleading impression of children's skills and potential. However, each realistic context item also had a cover story that was read to the child (ostensibly to activate the necessary schema), and this study investigated the possibility that these cover stories were giving the children additional help, perhaps by focusing their attention or by inadvertently giving clues as to the rules. Three factors were investigated; whether the items were abstract or set in context, whether each item was given with or without a commentary, and whether each commentary gave weak or strong guidance as to the rules. It was found that although items set in context were easier than abstract items their advantage was reduced when like was compared with like, and that the strong guidance commentaries were responsible for the greatest facilitation. It is concluded that the existence of domain-free reasoning processes cannot be ruled out, and that it is unlikely that people reason exclusively by using knowledge.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2015 16:17
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 00:35

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