Developmental Differences in Scientific Discovery Processes
CARNEGIE-MELLON UNIV PITTSBURGH PA ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND PSYCHOLOGY PROJECT
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The purpose of the three studies reported here was to formulate a framework for understanding the development of scientific reasoning processes. Subjects were placed in a simulated scientific discovery context by first teaching them how to use an electronic device and then asking them to discover how a hitherto unencountered function worked. To do this task, subjects had to formulate hypotheses based on their prior knowledge, conduct experiments, and evaluate the results of their experiments. These studies provided support for the view that scientific reasoning is a search in two problem spaces. By extending Simon and Leas 1974 Generalized Rule Inducer, we present a general model of Scientific Discovery as Dual Search SDDS that shows how search in two problem spaces an hypothesis space and an experimental space shapes hypothesis generation, experimental design, and the evaluation of hypotheses. The model also shows how these processes interact with each other and suggests what their developmental course might be. Scientific reasoning Discovery processes Problem space search Cognitive development Developmental psychology Learning Generalized rule inducer SDDS.