ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

›› 2009, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (5): 901-908.

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The Development and Debate of Diversity Effect in Inductive Reasoning

CHEN Qing-Fei;LEI Yi;OUYANG Han-Lu;LI Hong   

  1. Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality(MOE), School of Psychology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
  • Received:1900-01-01 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2009-09-15 Published:2009-09-15
  • Contact: LI Hong

Abstract: Diversity is one of the factors which affect inductive strength, that is, the more given number or variable of observations are, the stronger the inductive confidence is. The diversity effects among adults have been reported in a number of studies using a variety of methods. However, there has been considerable debate about whether children also prefer diverse samples as the basis for induction. While several initial developmental studies suggested that children do not consider the degree of sample diversity, some recent studies argue that children as young as 5 years old value sample diversity under certain circumstances. In the present review, the debate among these studies was analyzed from several differences of the research methods, such as the experimental paradigms, the difference between premises, experimental materials and the way to present, scope of properties and conceptual category, form of reasoning, and knowledge context. For future studies, paradigms in the research of other field and variety of materials should be widely adapted. Furthermore, the influential factors of diversity effect need to be explored in depth. What’s more, the diversity of other field should be mentioned, so as to translate basic research findings to clinical applications.

Key words: inductive reasoning, diversity effect, inductive confidence, the difference between premises, knowledge