Patterns of Student Growth in Reasoning About Correlational Problems


Authors: 
Ross, J. A., & Cousins, J. B.
Category: 
Volume: 
85(1)
Pages: 
49-65
Year: 
1993
Publisher: 
Journal of Educational Psychology
Abstract: 

Previous studies of correlational reasoning have focused on the interpretation of 2 x 2 tables. The research in this article examined age trends in responses to problems involving more than 2 continuous variables. Instruments were developed and administered to Ss from Grade 4 through postgraduate (n = 20 in each grade) to produce multidimensional profiles of student growth. Experiment 1 found that correlational reasoning skills increased with age. Experiments 2 and 3 found that students performance could be improved through instruction. Evidence of convergent and discriminant validity of the instruments was obtained. Although there were similarities between results obtained with 2 x 2 data problems and results on continuous data problems, the evidence in support of a single correlational schema underlying both was ambiguous. There was no transfer, and correlations between the 2 types of performance were weak.