HomePhilippine Journal of Psychologyvol. 42 no. 1 (2009)

Fantasy or Reality: Effects of Age, Premise Content, and Task Organization on Children’s Deductive Reasoning

Maria Rosanne M. Jocson | Nicholette G. Lim

Discipline: Psychology, Early Childhood Education



The study investigates the effects of age, premise content, and task organization on Filipino children’s deductive reasoning. Participants were 24 4-year-olds and 24 7-year-olds enrolled in private preschool and elementary institutions. They were presented with verbal syllogism problems systematically varied in content (fantasy premises; premises incongruent with real world events; premises congruent with real-world events) and order of presentation of problem types, patterned after Hawkins, Pea, Glick and Scribner (1984). Results indicate that premise content affected children’s scores on the reasoning task and patterns of justifications. Further analysis showed that age interacted with premise content to affect children’s scores, and also interacted with task organization to affect response justifications. Both 7-year-olds and 4-year-olds showed signs of deductive reasoning ability under constrained conditions. The development of deductive reasoning is discussed in relation to other cognitive processes, and implications are addressed.