Evaluating analogical reasoning in elementary school children using an executive functions framework

Booij, Marieke D. (2013) Evaluating analogical reasoning in elementary school children using an executive functions framework.

[img]
Preview
PDF
586kB
Abstract:Introduction The research question was: what is the relation between the level of the executive functions inhibition, working memory and fluency and analogical reasoning performance in children between the age of 8 and 11? It was hypothesized that older children would be better problem solvers than younger children and that older children would have higher analogical reasoning performance and perceive more relational similarities than younger children. Changes in analogical reasoning performance were expected to be explained by differences in the executive functions inhibition, working memory and fluency. This study tried to find support for this explanation. Method Sixty children in the age of 8 to 11 participated in this study. The study is explorative. Children were given a test for verbal fluency and design fluency, for verbal and visual working memory and a task for analogical reasoning performance. Last, the Color-Word Interference Test was administered to measure inhibition. Results Children in fifth grade could not solve more problems than children in third grade (t=.366, p=.716). They did not have higher analogical reasoning performance, but the number of relational similarities perceived was significantly higher in fifth grade than in third grade on the near-transfer task (t=2.877, p=.006). Inhibition, visual working memory and verbal fluency were significantly related to the number of superficial similarities on the near-transfer task. On the far-transfer task, verbal fluency was significantly related to the number of superficial similarities. The number of relational similarities was only positively related to verbal working memory on both tasks, but this was not significant. Conclusions and Discussion The hypotheses were partially supported by the data. More older children could solve the far-transfer task than younger children and older children perceived more relational similarities. The executive functions inhibition, working memory and fluency were positively related to analogical reasoning, especially to the number of superficial similarities, which gives support to the expectation that changes in analogical reasoning would be explained by the executive functions inhibition, working memory and fluency. The results do not completely correspond to earlier studies, probably due to differences in procedures and tests used. The analogical reasoning task appeared to be too difficult for the children and there was too much noise to focus on the tasks. Also, the score-range for analogical reasoning was too narrow and the sample was too small to obtain significant results. A more diverse and larger sample should be used in the future.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/63188
Export this item as:BibTeX
EndNote
HTML Citation
Reference Manager

 

Repository Staff Only: item control page