Klauer, K. J., Willmes, K., & Phye, G. D. (2002). Inducing inductive reasoning: Does it transfer to fluid intelligence? Contemporary Educational Psychology, 27(1), 1-25.
- Based on a prescriptive theory of inductive reasoning, a training program to foster inductive reasoning has been developed. Children from 12 first- grade classes, mean age about 7 years, N = 279, participated in a training experiment. The children of 6 classes were trained to apply a strategy to reason inductively while the children of the remaining classes continued their regular classroom activities. It was expected that trained children would outperform the untrained children with respect to Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices but not with respect to a vocabulary test, thus indicating convergent and discriminant or domain- specific training effects. Results confirmed this expectation. Moreover, it was expected that training would improve performance on the inductive subtests of Cattell's Culture Fair Test 1, but not influence subtests that did not involve inductive reasoning. Considerable transfer to both kinds of subtests was found on the immediate transfer task. However, with a delayed posttest 6 months later, the expected differential training effect could be observed. Finally, a LISREL model analysis confirmed the hypothesis that training children to reason inductively improved fluid but not crystallized intelligence.
Decscription of training/intervention
- The training was based on the program published by Klauer and Phye (1994). Basic cognitive and metacognitive objectives of the program are to teach the children to recognize an inductive problem, to differentiate between the types of problems (not necessarily by labeling them), to apply the adequate solution procedure to the type of problem, and finally to check ones own solution. Particular emphasis was put on teaching for transfer such that the children should become able to apply the cognitive and metacognitive strategies on any inductive problemwhenever they met one.
- The project started at the beginning of the second half of the school year. In all schools, one class received training and the other class continued with regular classroom activities. The training lasted 5 weeks. In each of the weeks, every child participated in 2 training sessions of maximally 45 min so that 10 training lessons were administered to each child. The training sessions took place in small groups of about three to five children. It was administered in a separate room so that the children had to leave their classroom in order to participate in the training. Trainers were two female psychologists who were very experienced in the application of the training program.
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