Conference Proceeding

Abstract or Description

Previous research on scientific reasoning has shown that it involves a diverse set of skills. Yet, little is known about generality of those skills, an important issue to theories of expertise and to attempts to automate scientific reasoning skills. We present a study examining what kinds of skills psychologists actually use in designing and interpreting experiments. The results suggest: 1) that psychologists use many domain-general skills in their experimentation; 2) that bright and motivated undergraduates are missing many of these skills; 3) some domain-general skills are not specific to only scientists; and 4) some domain-specific skills can be acquired with minimal domain-experience.