Inductive Reasoning: A Training Approach

From Section:
Instruction in Teacher Training
Mar. 20, 2008

Source: Review of Educational Research 2008 78:  85-123.

Researchers have examined inductive reasoning to identify different cognitive processes when participants deal with inductive problems. This article presents a prescriptive theory of inductive reasoning that identifies cognitive processing using a procedural strategy for making comparisons.

It is hypothesized that training in the use of the procedural inductive reasoning strategy will improve cognitive functioning in terms of (a) increased fluid intelligence performance and (b) better academic learning of classroom subject matter. The review and meta-analysis summarizes the results of 74 training experiments with nearly 3,600 children.

Both hypotheses are confirmed. Further, two moderating effects were observed: Training effects on intelligence test performance increased over time, and positive problem-solving transfer to academic learning is greater than transfer to intelligence test performance. The results cannot be explained by placebo or test-coaching effects. It is concluded that the proposed strategy is theoretically and educationally promising and that children of a broad age range and intellectual capacity benefit with such training.

Updated: Jan. 17, 2017
Children | Cognitive processes | Cognitive training | Experiments | Prescriptive theories | Problem solving | Thinking skills | Training methods