Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




The purpose of the present study was to determine if hypothetic-deductive scientific reasoning of controlling variables could be enhanced by a Piagetian experiment with the concrete-inquiry instruction model. The pendulum task and the bending rods task were the Piagetian tasks used as the treatment tasks;The instructional sequence employed in the study was the concrete-inquiry instruction model. This model is a highly specified and structured instructional sequence, which consists of presenting a problem, making a hypothesis, inquiring and making a design for solving the problem, conducting an experiment, processing feedback, and developing a summary and conclusion;Fifty-seven college students were randomly assigned into two groups, 29 for the experimental group and 28 for the control group. The experimental group was administered the immediate posttest of the Piagetian Operations Test (PLOT) and the Problem-Solving Test (PST) following the administration of about two hours of structured instructional sequence, which was presented using a video tape cassette and conducting an individual experiment with the experimental apparatuses. The delayed posttests of the PLOT and the PST were administered one month after the initial experiment. In addition, the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) was administered to study the correlation between cognitive growth and cognitive style. The control group was administered the PLOT, the PST, and the GEFT without the experimental treatment. The t-test, oneway analysis of variance, multiple correlation coefficient, multiple regression and bivariate regression were used for analyzing the research data;It was found that the experimental group achieved higher scores than the control group on the PLOT and the enhanced hypothetic-deductive scientific reasoning had a retention effect one month after the initial experiment. The results of the study indicated that there was some transfer of the reasoning skill to novel problem solving situations with college students. In addition, the research data showed that there was a positive correlation between cognitive growth and field-dependence-independence cognitive style, and field-independent cognitive style was one factor predicting achievement level of hypothetic-deductive scientific reasoning.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Hyung Huh



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254 pages