Formal operational reasoning and its relationship to complex speech patterns and tentative statement use

Davelaar, Eileen (1973) Formal operational reasoning and its relationship to complex speech patterns and tentative statement use. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The primary purpose of the present investigation was to assess the relationship between a child's level of formal operational reasoning and characteristics of his spontaneous speech. The variables of specific concern were the mean length of T-units, a measure of linguistic complexity, and the frequency of use of tentative statements. Three different tasks of formal reasoning were employed to assess this relationship: a relatively language-free problem-solving task developed by Neimark and Lewis, the equilibrium in the balance task developed by Inhelder and Piaget, and a verbal task of formal reasoning developed by Weitz, Bynum and Thomas. A speech sample was collected from each subject on an individual basis by showing him three different photographs and asking him to explain what he saw in each. A total of 144 middle-class boys, 48 in each of grades 4, 6 and 8 served as subjects. All the boys' scores on the Raven's Progressive Matrices Test were above the minimum of the normal IQ range. The data for each grade separately were analysed in terms of both simple correlations and stepwise regression analyses. Both speech characteristics and formal operational reasoning were found to increase significantly across grade level. Very minimal support was evident for the contention that speech characteristics are related to formal reasoning ability. The results indicated that the mean length of T-units was not significantly related to any of the three reasoning tasks at any of the three grade levels. In addition, a significant relationship between the frequent use of tentative statements and formal reasoning was evident only at the grade 6 level on two of the reasoning tasks. Results also indicated that the amount of language produced by the grade 4 children was significantly related to their performance on two of the reasoning tasks. Those language variables which were significantly related to formal reasoning ability tended to remain so when examined in the presence of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary IQ. The results generally support Piaget's contention that reasoning processes are independent of language.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7434
Item ID: 7434
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 62-67.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 1973
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Reasoning (Psychology); Children--Language

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