The development of indeterminate reasoning in early childhood

Omiya, A.

The Japanese journal of psychology 79(1): 1-8


DOI: 10.4992/jjpsy.79.1
Accession: 068501813

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This study examined the development of the thinking strategy that leads to the conclusion that not every simple problem has a simple solution (indetermination). The development of this strategy was examined by studying the developmental process of indeterminate conditional reasoning, using the following three conditionals: category-based, causal, and deontic. The experiment was conducted with a total of 100 children between late four and early six years of age. First, the children were administered the indeterminate conditional reasoning task and the comprehension task, which examined whether or not they understood the statement that not every simple problem has a simple solution. The results revealed that although young children understood the concept of indetermination, they were not always able to draw an indeterminate conclusion. On being encouraged to change their viewpoint, the children found it easier to arrive at the correct conclusion. The development of the thinking strategy and ways to encourage it were discussed based on the results.