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date: 21 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Reasoning is defined here as purposeful thinking consciously executed in the service of enhancing understanding, in contrast to inference, which may be implicit and automatic. As such, reasoning is implicated in much of human mental activity. A set of general questions about the nature of reasoning and its development are addressed: When does reasoning begin? To what extent can it be reduced to its components or processing demands? To what extent are dual processes and executive functions involved? How does reasoning in one context influence how a related context will be approached? Does reasoning skill develop, and to what extent does this development depend on specific kinds of experience? How are both the competence and the disposition to reason well best fostered?

Keywords: reasoning, development, processing demands, executive function, inhibition, transfer, learning, social context, disposition

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