Levels of Cognitive Complexity: An Approach to the Measurement of Thinking

Levels of Cognitive Complexity: An Approach to the Measurement of Thinking

by Ernest McDaniel, Chris Lawrence




This research monograph describes a new approach to the measurement of thinking processes. The author begins with a discussion of the logic of thought versus the psychology of thinking. Traditionally, thinking has been defined in terms of the logical thought processes which lead to warranted conclusions. The psychological processes, on the other hand, involve the individual's perceptions, intentions and information-processing strategies. Traditional logical approaches appear to be most suitable for analysis of thinking in "formal" highly structured problem situations. Current tests of critical thinking reflect the "logical" approaches to measuring thinking; two tests of this type are evaluated by the author. The authors define the information-processing approach to measurement of thinking, which emphasizes the way situational information is perceived, selected, organized and interpreted. Using this approach, the authors have developed two interpretive exercises, The Holocaust and The Bomb Factories. The results of a number of studies conducted with these exercises are presented, and future work is projected.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781461234210
Publisher: Springer Nature B.V.
Publication date: 10/08/2011
Pages: 112
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.23(d)

Table of Contents

1 Approaches to Studying Reasoning.- Conceptions of Thinking.- Tests of Thinking.- The Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal.- The Cornell Critical Thinking Test.- The Ennis-Weir Critical Thinking Essay Test.- 2 Thinking as Levels of Cognitive Complexity.- The Describer-Explainer Continuum.- Perry’s Positions of Intellectual Development.- Information Processing Structures.- 3 Interpretive Exercises and the Scoring Rationale for Evaluating Levels of Thinking.- Interpretive Exercises.- The Holocaust.- The Bomb Factories.- The Scoring Rationale for Evaluating Levels of Thinking.- Perception and Definition of the Situation.- Imposition of an Organizing Structure.- Analysis, Support, and Elaboration.- Levels of Cognitive Complexity.- 4 Empirical Studies.- Experimental Groups.- School Achievement Variables.- Relationship to Writing Proficiency.- Orientation to Learning Variables.- Correlation with Orientation to Learning Variables.- Other Measures of Cognitive Ability and Thinking Processes.- Correlations with Other Thinking Exercises.- The Two Helmets Test.- The Jefferson Davis Exercise.- The Holocaust.- The Mystery of Pearl Harbor.- Levels of Thinking and Discourse Structure.- Generalizing the Cognitive Complexity Approach.- Appendix A.- Scoring Rationale for Levels of Thinking.- Levels of Cognitive Complexity.- Appendix B.- Practice Examples.- Test Examples.- Appendix C Answer Sheet for the Bomb Factories.- References.- Related References.

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