Indicators of Discontinuous Change in the Development of Analogical Reasoning

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In a longitudinal study, five indicators of a transition in the development of analogical reasoning were examined in young elementary school children, (a) bimodality and (b) inaccessibility in the frequency distributions of test performance, and in the responses of the transitional subjects, respectively, (c) sudden jumps, (d) anomalous variance, and (e) critical slowing down. An open-ended geometric-analogies test was administered eight times during a period of six months to eighty children in Grades 1 and 2 (six- to eight-year-olds). Strong evidence for bimodality was found in the distribution of the test scores and weaker evidence for inaccessibility. In the performance curves of the transitional subjects sudden jumps were demonstrated. Furthermore, the transitional subjects displayed a temporary increase of inconsistent solution behavior and solution time near the sudden jump. The characteristic changes in the analogy performance of the transitional subjects were interpreted as a strategy shift.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands 2: University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: March 1, 1997

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