Methods of Thought

Individual Differences in Reasoning Strategies

Edited by Elizabeth Newton, Maxwell Roberts

© 2004 – Psychology Press

208 pages

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pub: 2013-12-20
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pub: 2004-11-11
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About the Book

How do people make inferences? How do their reasoning processes differ and why? Methods of Thought attempts to answer these questions by looking in detail at the different reasoning strategies people apply, how these are acquired, how they are selected and how use of these strategies is influenced by individual and task properties. Focusing on empirical data and research into deductive reasoning tasks, this book summarizes current trends in the field and helps us to understand how individual differences in reasoning impact on other studies of higher cognitive abilities in humans.

Contributors include researchers who have shown that people make deductions by using a variety of strategies, and others who have found that deductive reasoning problems provide a useful test-bed for investigating general theories of strategy development. Together, it is shown that these general theories derived from other domains have important implications for deductive reasoning, and also that findings by reasoning researchers have wider consequences for general theories of strategy development. This book will be of interest to anyone studying or working in the fields of reasoning, problem solving, and cognitive development, as well as cognitive science in general.


'Methods of Thought is a very fine book of its kind. The studies are presented thoroughly and clearly. The references in it to dimensions of the person such as individual differences, experiences, biases, and types of people for me are supportive of further, complementary methodology such as qualitative methods.' - Thomas F. Cloonan, in PsycCRITIQUES, 26th July 2006.

'There is no book on reasoning that deals with individual differences as specifically and in as focused a manner as this one. This volume is a unique contribution to the literature.' - Keith E. Stanovich, University of Toronto

Table of Contents

Introduction. Individual Differences in Reasoning Strategies. Patrick Lemaire, Ludovic Fabre, Strategic Aspects of Human Cognition: Implications for Understanding Human Reasoning. Bradley J. Morris, Christian D. Schunn, Rethinking Logical Reasoning Skills from a Strategy Perspective. K.J. Gilhooly, Working Memory and Strategies in Reasoning. Alison Bacon, Simon J. Handley, Stephen E. Newstead, Verbal and Spatial Strategies in Reasoning. Vicky Dierckx, Andre Vandierendonck, Adaptive Strategy Applications in Linear Reasoning. Maxwell J. Roberts, Elizabeth J. Newton, Strategy Usage in a Simple Reasoning Task. Elizabeth J. Newton, Maxwell J. Roberts, The Window of Opportunity: A Model for Strategy Discovery.

About the Editors

Maxwell J. Roberts is Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, University of Essex.

Elizabeth Newton is Research Fellow in the Department of Human Communication Science, University College London.

About the Series

Current Issues in Thinking and Reasoning

Current Issues in Thinking and Reasoning is a series of edited books which will reflect the state of the art in areas of current and emerging interest in the psychological study of thinking processes.

Each volume will be tightly focussed on a particular topic and will consist of from seven to ten chapters contributed by international experts. The editors of individual volumes will be leading figures in their areas and will provide an introductory overview.

Example topics include thinking and working memory, visual imagery in problem solving, evolutionary approaches to thinking, cognitive processes in planning, creative thinking, decision making processes, pathologies of thinking, individual differences, neuropsychological approaches and applications of thinking research.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology