Is conditional reasoning related to mathematical problem solving?

Tin Yau Terry WONG

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Abstract

The current study aimed to investigate the relation between conditional reasoning, which is a common type of logical reasoning, and children's mathematical problem solving. A sample of 124 fourth graders was tested for their conditional reasoning skills and their mathematical problem solving skills, as well as a list of control variables (e.g., IQ, working memory, reading) and potential mediators (number sentence construction and computation). The children's ability to make modus ponens (MP) inferences significantly predicted their mathematical problem solving skills, even after controlling for the potential confounding variables. The relation was mediated by the number sentence construction skills. The findings, in addition to supporting the link between conditional reasoning and mathematics, further indicate that the ability to process relations may be the mechanism underlying the relation. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12644
JournalDevelopmental Science
Volume21
Issue number5
Early online dateDec 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

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Citation

Wong, T. T.-Y. (2018). Is conditional reasoning related to mathematical problem solving? Developmental Science, 21(5). Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/desc.12644