AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
O estudo investigou o efeito do modo de apresentar em fantasia de faz-de-conta no raciocínio de silogismos condicionais válidos em três grupos de crianças com 5 anos de idade: (a) crianças inglesas que freqüentam escolas de famílias de nível socioeconômico médio na Inglaterra; (b) crianças brasileiras que freqüentam escolas de famílias de nível socioeconômico médio, e (c) crianças brasileiras que nunca foram à escola de famílias de nível socioeconômico baixo. Investigações anteriores verificaram que o uso de contexto de fantasia eliciava significativamente mais respostas lógicas do que em outros contextos e, que crianças com experiência escolar ofereciam significativamente mais respostas lógicas do que crianças sem experiência escolar. A presente investigação estende esses resultados para mostrar os efeitos benéficos do contexto de fantasia em crianças sem escolarização de classe baixa. Palavras-chave: Raciocínio silogístico; nível sócio-econômico; crianças.
Logical Reasoning and Fantasy Contexts: Eliminating Differences between Children with and without Experience in School
An experiment investigated the effect of a make-believe fantasy mode of problem presentation on reasoning about valid conditional syllogisms in three groups of 5-year-old children: a) school children from middle-class families in England; b) school children from middle-class families in Brazil; and, c) children from low SES families in Brazil who had never gone to school. Previous investigations had reported that the use of a fantasy context elicited significantly more logically appropriate responses from school children than did other contexts, and that children with school experiences made significantly more logically appropriate responses than did children without school experience. The present investigation extended these findings to show that the beneficial effects of a fantasy context extended to lower-class illiterate children who never had been exposed to schooling.
Keywords: Syllogistic reasoning; socioeconomic status; children.
This investigation addressed two basic issues. First, previous investigations reported that middle-class school children made fewer errors when making judgments about logical syllogisms when the problems were presented in the context of a make-believe fantasy context than they did when the problems were presented in other contexts. Second, previous investigations reported that research participants from literate populations with exposure to schooling made fewer errors than have participants from illiterate populations without exposure to schooling. The present investigation combined these two aspects, investigating the effects of presentation of problems requiring judgments about logical syllogisms with make-believe fantasy contexts and with other contexts with both school children and with children who have not been exposed to schooling.
Psychologists have been investigating the effects of literacy, schooling, and socio-economic class (SES) on logical-reasoning performance at least since Luria (1976), whose investigation in Uzbekistan compared adult illiterate peasants from traditional communities with adults who had been integrated in collectively organized communities and had gone to school. Luria presented syllogisms with various types of premises, some referring to practical experiences, and others referring to non-familiar events that required answers based on purely logical inferences. Illiterate participants solved 60% of the syllogistic problems that involved familiar contents, but performance for these same participants dropped to 15% when the contents were unknown. For the participants who had some schooling, however, or who were used to more complex means of communication, 100% of the responses were correct for both kinds of syllogisms. Luria argued that only the literate participants who had school experience were able to accept the premises of the problems as part of a syllogistic unit that allowed logical conclusions to be drawn.
More recent investigations by Cole, Gay, Glick and Sharp (1971), Scribner (1975) with the Kpelle population West Africa, and Sharp and Cole (1975, mentioned in Scribner, 1977) with the Mayans in Yucatán, Mexico, all arrived at results that pointed in the same direction. Cole, Gay, Glick and Sharp (1971), for example, used several kinds of verbal logical problems in naturalistic and experimental contexts, aimed at studying inferential processes Kpelle children and adults. In one study conducted with 10- to 14-year-old children with several degrees of schooling, problems such as the following were presented: "If Flumo or Yakpalo drinks spirits, then the town chief gets annoyed. Flumo is not drinking spirits. Yakpalo is. Is the town chief annoyed?"
Only 30% of the responses made by children who had never been to school were logically appropriate. In contrast, children who were attending the third year of school solved 90% of the problems. According to the authors, the apparent source of the 'non-logical' performance of the unschooled population seemed to be a failure to integrate and retain the information contained in the premises.
The goals of a set of exploratory studies reported by Scribner (1975) were (a) to examine whether logical reasoning related to culture and (b) to identify the processes involved inferential reasoning that are contained in a culture. One study included illiterate members of a Kpelle tribe that was situated in an isolated West African region, literate members the same tribe who had received secondary education and a third group of North-American students. All participants received syllogistic problems with content that varied between true or untrue premises. The illiterate Kpelle participants made correct responses to 53% of the problems (equal to chance-level performance), the literate Kpelle school children made correct responses to 80% of the problems, and the North American college students made correct responses to 90% of the problems. (Data concerning differences between syllogisms involving true premises and untrue premises were not reported.)
Scribner (1975) analyzed the justifications for the responses that were provided by the participants. Explanations were classified into three types: (a) theoretical explanations were those in which participants referred to a problems' assumptions, (b) empirical explanations were those in which participants referred to their own knowledge; and (c) arbitrary explanations were those in which no justification was offered or where the explanations were irrelevant to the responses. Scribner reported that 23.3% of the justifications by the illiterate Kpelle were theoretical, 68.1% were empirical, and 9.6% were arbitrary. For the literate Kpelle group, 75% of the justifications were theoretical, 21.9% were empirical, and 3.1% were arbitrary. For the American college students, 82.3% of the judgements were theoretical, 3.1% were empirical, and 14.6% were arbitrary. Thus, theoretical justifications were used more by the schooled Kpelle and by the American college students than by the illiterate Kpelle, whereas the illiterate Kpelle used more empirical justifications. Similar results were reported by Sharp et al. (1975, cited in Scribner, 1977) with schooled and illiterate children and adults in the rural and semi-rural areas of Yucatán, Mexico, and by Cole and Scribner (1974) with a sample of 750 Vai …