Question-driven explanatory reasoning


The primary claim in this paper is that questions are one of the fundamental cognitive components that guide human reasoning. That is, threads of coherent reasoning are built around the questions that humans ask and their answers to these questions. Explanatory reasoning is elicited by particular classes of questions (such as why, how, and what-if) that invite the construction of causal chains, goal-plan-action hierarchies, and logical justifications. This paper identifies the psychological mechanisms that underlie human question asking and question answering, along with some empirical findings that support these mechanisms. We also discuss some ways that educational software can be designed to facilitate question-driven explanatory reasoning.

Publication Title

Applied Cognitive Psychology