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Abstract

Students display a number of misconceptions when asked to reason about logical propositions. Rather than being random, these misconceptions are stereotypic, and relate to age, ability, and success in science. The grades in science achieved by tenth-grade general science students from two parochial single-sex schools in Australia correlated with their scores on the Propositional Logic Test. The students' ability level was consistently related to the pattern of errors they committed on that measure. Mean scores were lowest on a subtest of ability to use the biconditional and implication, higher on the disjunction, and highest on the conjunction. Success in science was predicted most strongly by the disjunction and biconditional subtests. Knowledge of the way in which a person reasons about logical propositions provides additional insights into the transformations information is subjected to as it is integrated into mental schemata.