Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

© 2019 Elsevier Inc. Principles of scientific investigation are often described using hypothetical “if” sentences. The current study explored whether the acquisition of such language is related to earlier understanding of scientific principles, specifically hypothesis testing and control of variables strategy. 98 children 8–9 years of age were tested individually on conditional sentence comprehension, repetition and scientific reasoning. Reasoning ability was tested with groups of children. Children who failed the scientific reasoning tests were re-administered the test/s they failed and grammar tests two years later (age 10–11). Good understanding of hypothetical conditional sentences at age 8–9 predicted showing understanding of hypothesis testing early (age 8–9) rather than late (age 10–11) and predicted passing control of variables strategy test by age 10–11, controlling for non-verbal and verbal reasoning ability. Comprehension of complex conditional sentences might be helping children with understanding the underlying principles of scientific investigation.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.cogdev.2019.05.008

Type

Journal article

Journal

COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT

Publication Date

01/01/2019

Volume

51

Pages

46 - 57

Keywords

Control-of-variables strategy, Hypothesis testing, Grammar, Scientific reasoning, Conditional sentences, Science learning