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Children’s cognition of continuous causal processes, the role of spatial-temporal analysis above/beyond other candidate predictors

Dündar-Coecke, Selma; (2020) Children’s cognition of continuous causal processes, the role of spatial-temporal analysis above/beyond other candidate predictors. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Causal reasoning is a fundamental component of any credible form of human thinking and has been a core topic of various fields, for the reason that understanding the means by which people grasp physical causality is crucial to the formation of everyday and scientific thinking. Causal relations can be conceived from discrete events and also from temporally continuous processes. However, the process view of causation is highly neglected in psychology literature. This capacity however paves the way for understanding various fundamental issues ranging from i.e. food security to climate change. How or when the ability to reason about continuous causal processes evolves into a mature form is unknown. What kind of cognitive abilities are involved in this evolution is largely unexplored. This thesis aims to provide the first systematic investigation on these. The thesis contains five chapters. The first chapter has focused on the rationale and explained the paradigms and methodological approaches used across three studies. The second chapter has examined whether a single datum suffices to establish a causal connection, and whether children’s understanding varies depending on the way a causal phenomenon is presented. This target has been extended in the third chapter by considering the developmental trajectories: how children move from stage to stage; how various cognitive competences play a role in these. This chapter has also concerned whether most promising candidate abilities, such as spatial, spatial-temporal, statistical thinking indexed by probability and covariation analysis predict children’s thinking of causal processes above/beyond verbal and nonverbal abilities. The fourth chapter has evaluated the replicability of the results and provided further evidence on the candidate predictors by extending the socioeconomic background of the sample. These three chapters have included their dedicated discussions. However, the fifth chapter has rendered a holistic picture and provided a detailed discussion on the meaning of the outcomes for the research questions.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Children’s cognition of continuous causal processes, the role of spatial-temporal analysis above/beyond other candidate predictors
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author [2020]. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10096944
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