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Logical Reasoning, Spatial Processing, and Verbal Working Memory: Longitudinal Predictors of Physics Achievement at Age 12-13 Years
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
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2019 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 10, article id 1929Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To date, few studies have tried to pinpoint the mechanisms supporting childrens skills in science. This study investigated to what extent logical reasoning, spatial processing, and working memory, tapped at age 9-10 years, are predictive of physics skills at age 12-13 years. The study used a sample of 81 children (37 girls). Measures of arithmetic calculation and reading comprehension were also included in the study. The multiple regression model accounted for 24% of the variation in physics achievement. The model showed that spatial processing (4.6%) and verbal working memory (4.5%) accounted for a similar amount of unique variance, while logical reasoning accounted for 5.7% variance. The measures of arithmetic calculation and reading comprehension did not account for any unique variance. Nine percent of the accounted variance was shared variance. The results demonstrate that physics is a multivariate discipline that draws upon numerous cognitive resources. Logical reasoning ability is a key component in order for children to learn about abstract physics facts, concepts, theories, and applying complex scientific methods. Spatial processing is important as it may sub-serve the assembly of diverse sources of visual-spatial information into a spatial-schematic image. The working memory system provides a flexible and efficient mental workspace that can supervise, coordinate, and execute processes involved in physics problem-solving.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
FRONTIERS MEDIA SA , 2019. Vol. 10, article id 1929
Keywords [en]
physics; spatial processing; working memory; logical reasoning; reading
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-160164DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01929ISI: 000482080300001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-160164DiVA, id: diva2:1349581
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research [2008-0238]

Available from: 2019-09-09 Created: 2019-09-09 Last updated: 2019-09-09

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Träff, UlfOlsson, LindaSkagerlund, KennySkagenholt, MikaelÖstergren, Rickard
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