The Role of Conceptual Structure in Mathematical Explanation

AbstractPeople's reasoning about physical and social explanations is well understood (Keil, 2008). However, less is known about how people reason about mathematical explanations (but see Johnson et. al., 2017). Experiment 1 replicates the central result of Johnson et. al (2017), that people impose order on simple arithmetic explanations, as well as sets the limits of that preference. Experiment 2 extends the results of a second factor, the character of the relationship between the operations related by the explanation.

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