≪Organizer Abstract≫
Hypothesis testing and evidence evaluation are decisive for scientific literacy. While basic scientific reasoning skills already emerge in early childhood, they are continuously refined as a consequence of cognitive development and learning. The symposium will focus on the mechanisms that guide the acquisition of these skills. Paper 1 will discuss the role of language development by highlighting parallels between scientific reasoning and inferring word meanings. In Paper 2, longitudinal data will display relationships between the Theory of Mind at age 3-4 and scientific reasoning skills at age 8. Paper 3 is on evidence evaluation by investigating whether preschool children trust mother's testimony when it is in conflict with children's naïve theory. Paper 4 will highlight to what extent scientific reasoning skills can be indirectly boosted by content-specific learning about elementary physics. An integrative view on the papers will contribute to a better understanding of individual differences in scientific reasoning.
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