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Benő Csapó : Development of inductive reasoning

Inductive reasoning is often considered one of the central components of thinking that is closely related to general intelligence, problem solving, and learning abilities. This paper presents the major results of a study that assessed the developmental tendencies of inductive reasoning and its relationships to other reasoning skills and indicators of school achievement. Six tests were devised for the measurement of several features of inductive reasoning (numerical analogies, verbal analogies, number series, letter series, coding and exclusion); a proportion, a correlation and the Wason task; furthermore Raven's progressive matrices test and a science application test were also included in the survey. These measurement tools were administered to 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th grade samples drawn in a representative way from the primary and secondary schools of Szeged, Hungary. Results show that the major share of the development of inductive reasoning took place before 7th grade (13 years of age). Strong interrelationships were found between the components of inductive reasoning and Raven intelligence, as well as the science application test. However, correlations of inductive reasoning, intelligence, and science application test with the school achievements (represented with grades given by teachers) were very small. The paper interprets the lack of strong relationships to be a result of the schools' inability to utilize students' learning potential to its fullest extent, and the fact that there exist a separation between students' academic capabilities and the achievements acknowledged by schools.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 94. Number 1-2. 53-80. (1994)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Benő Csapó, Department of Education, Attila József University, H–6722 Szeged, Petőfi sgt. 30–34


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia