Una giustificazione sbagliata è un buon argomento? Teoria della mente e argomentazione nel contesto sperimentale

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Is a wrong justification a good argument? Theory of mind and argumentation in the experimental context

Elisabetta Lombardi, S. Greco, R. Schär, A. Iannaccone, A. N. Perret-Clermont

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

[Autom. eng. transl.] Introduction: Literature has paid little attention to the arguments produced by children, especially when involved in a dialogical exchange with adults in experimental contexts. This particular communicative context is characterized by precise research objectives, known only to the researcher. This has consequences on the type of argumentative activity (Levinson 1979; van Eemeren 2010), which is predefined and rigid and which excludes the possibility of natural argumentation. This results in an asymmetry between adults and children, which can have an influence on how children respond to the researcher's requests; for example, when they are asked to justify their answers to a classic task of false belief of the 2nd order (Perner and Wimmer, 1985). In this task only the arguments that explicitly demonstrate that the child is engaged in 2nd order recursive reasoning on mental states is considered correct (Sullivan et al, 1994). This contribution proposes a new approach to interpret the justifications of this task, adopting a dialogical perspective and analyzing the children's responses according to two models of Argumentation Theory. Method: 86 children participated in the study (48 males, average age = 123 months, ds = 3.9 months). The children were given the task of false second order belief, the ice cream maker. The analyzes were carried out through 2 models of the Argumentation Theory: the pragma-dialectical model - analityc overview (van Eemeren & Grootendorst, 2004) for identifying the arguments used by children and the Argumentum Model of Topics - AMT (Rigotti & Greco Morasso, 2010), which captures the inferential component of reasoning. Results: From the reconstruction of the expected response through the analytic overview, 5 response categories emerged, 3 which refer to the topics that are related to the response expected by the test and 2 to the deviations from it, responses considered wrong in traditional coding. The "ideal answer" is composed of a standpoint and two coordinated arguments that constitute the expected justification, two premises of the same argumentative scheme, based on a cause-effect relationship. As for the wrong answers, they can refer to the point of view of the protagonists of the story or to the hypothetical and possible experiences, the desires of the characters or the personal experiences of the children interviewed. The results of the AMT analysis show that the partially "incorrect" answers of children depend on the pragmatics of the conversation and on the relationship between explicit and implicit content and a misunderstanding of the issue (question) from which the discussion starts. These answers are based on correct inferences but do not meet the expectations of the task, because children do not share the same material premises as researchers. Conclusions: The study demonstrates how the dialogical consideration of experimental settings can contribute to bringing to light the reasonings hidden behind the wrong answers of children and that with a traditional coding would be lost. This contributes to a new interpretation of the "errors" and helps to identify possible misunderstandings in the adult-child interaction, thus opening the discussion on how to solve them.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Is a wrong justification a good argument? Theory of mind and argumentation in the experimental context
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationXXXI Congresso AIP sezione di psicologia dello sviluppo e dell'educazione - Abstract dei contributi
Pages124
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventXXXI Congresso AIP sezione di psicologia dello sviluppo e dell'educazione - Abstract dei contributi - TORINO -- ITA
Duration: 17 Sep 201819 Sep 2018

Conference

ConferenceXXXI Congresso AIP sezione di psicologia dello sviluppo e dell'educazione - Abstract dei contributi
CityTORINO -- ITA
Period17/9/1819/9/18

Keywords

  • : Teoria della Mente, Argomentazione, Componente inferenziale

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