THE TEMPORAL CONSISTENCY OF THE EFFECTS OF STRUCTURE AND CONTENT ON SPATIAL DEDUCTIVE REASONING

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Authors
  1. Boudreau, G.
  2. Pigeau, R.A.
Corporate Authors
Defence and Civil Inst of Environmental Medicine, Downsview ONT (CAN)
Abstract
The general aim of this study is to elucidate the temporal consistency of the effects of the structure and content of an argument on spatial deductive reasoning. We will investigate the effects of these factors mainly by comparing the opposing predictions made by the Formal Rules theory and the Mental Models theory of spatial deductive reasoning. Thirty-seven subjects solved 48 spatial reasoning problems which varied by their logical structure, that is, by the order of the entities in the premise sets, and their geometrical content, that is, by the number of dimensions (2D, 3D), orientations (horizontal, vertical), and directions (right/left, bottom/top) specified in the premise sets. For half of the problems, subjects were to deduce the relative location of an object pair (EB) in two dimensions. For the other half, subjects were to deduce the relative location of an other object pair (ED) in either one dimension, for the 2D condition, or in three dimensions for the 3D condition. Questions pertaining to each dimension were asked consecutively thus requiring deductions over time but within the bounds of working memory. We varied the symbolic representation of the problems according to their symbolic structure using either sentences or diagrams to represent the relations among entities, and their symbolic content using either nouns or images to represent the entities. TRUNCATED
Keywords
Formal Rules Theory;Mental Models Theory;Symbolic representation;Spatial deductive reasoning
Report Number
DCIEM-97-R-69 —
Date of publication
01 Dec 1997
Number of Pages
40
DSTKIM No
98-00632
CANDIS No
507511
Format(s):
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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