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Scientific reasoning and counterfactual reasoning in development

Nyhout, Angela and Ganea, Patricia A. (2021) Scientific reasoning and counterfactual reasoning in development. In: Lockman, Jeffrey J., ed. Advances in Child Development and Behavior. Advances in Child Development and Behavior, 61 . Academic Press, Cambridge, USA, pp. 223-253. ISBN 978-0-12-824577-4. (doi:10.1016/bs.acdb.2021.04.005) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:89498)

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In this chapter, we bridge research on scientific and counterfactual reasoning. We review findings that children struggle with many aspects of scientific experimentation in the absence of formal instruction, but show sophistication in the ability to reason about counterfactual possibilities. We connect these two sets of findings by reviewing relevant theories on the relation between causal, scientific, and counterfactual reasoning before describing a growing body of work that indicates that prompting children to consider counterfactual alternatives can scaffold both the scientific inquiry process (hypothesis-testing and evidence evaluation) and science concept learning. This work suggests that counterfactual thought experiments are a promising pedagogical tool. We end by discussing several open questions for future research.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/bs.acdb.2021.04.005
Uncontrolled keywords: counterfactual reasoning, scientific reasoning, thought experiments, inquiry, science learning, education
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women > HQ767.9 Children. Child developement
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Angela Nyhout
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2021 20:35 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2022 23:13 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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