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The purpose of the two studies reported here wos to develop an integrated model of the scientific reasoning process. Subjects were placed in a simulated scientific discovery context by first teaching them how to use an electronic device and then asking them to discover how a hitherto unencountered function worked. To do this task. subjects had to formulate(More)
The ability to design unconfounded experiments and make valid inferences from their outcomes is an essential skill in scientific reasoning. The present study addressed an important issue in scientific reasoning and cognitive development: how children acquire a domain-general processing strategy (Control of Variables Strategy or CVS) and generalize it across(More)
This review integrates 4 major approaches to the study of science—historical accounts of scientific discoveries, psychological experiments with nonscientists working on tasks related to scientific discoveries , direct observation of ongoing scientific laboratories, and computational modeling of scientific discovery processes—by viewing them through the lens(More)
This study investigated the cognitive processes involved in inductive reasoning. Sixteen undergraduates solved quadratic function–finding problems and provided concurrent verbal protocols. Three fundamental areas of inductive activity were identified: Data Gathering, Pattern Finding, and Hypothesis Generation. These activities are evident in three different(More)
Recent work on scientific reasoning has largely focused on either domain-specific content knowledge or domain-general reasoning knowledge. This study investigated the interaction between the 2 types of knowledge in a real-world domain in which strict control of variables was not possible. We used a context, sinking objects, in which 10-, 12-, and,(More)
When evaluating experimental evidence, how do people deal with the possibility that some of the feedback is erroneous? The potential for error means that evidence evaluation must include decisions about when to "trust the data." In this paper we present two studies that focus on subjects' responses to erroneous feedback in a hypothesis testing situation-a(More)
Two experiments were conducted to examine whether and how 4- and 5-year-olds learn to distinguish determinate from indeterminate evidence. Children were asked to decide whether various patterns of evidence were sufficient to reach unambiguous conclusions. This study replicated the finding that young children tend to use a strategy that, although generally(More)
''Hands-on'' activities play an important, but controversial, role in early science education. In this study we attempt to clarify some of the issues surrounding the controversy by calling attention to distinctions between: (a) type of instruction (direct or discovery); (b) type of knowledge to be acquired (domain-general or domain-specific); and (c) type(More)