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Logique sans peine ? : comment nous sommes plus performants et motivés pour raisonner logiquement à propos des connaissances primaires

Abstract : Learning often gives the impression of being a long and difficult process, especially when it reminds us of school and the difficulty that everyone has already experienced in maintaining motivation for a particular subject. Yet there are things we learn without teaching. For example, learning to speak one’s mother tongue is a natural process without conscious effort. Primary and secondary knowledge is a way of distinguishing what is easy or difficult to learn. Primary knowledge is the knowledge for which our cognitive mechanisms have evolved, allowing effortless, intuitive and rapid acquisition, whereas secondary knowledge has recently emerged: it is the knowledge for which we would not have had time to evolve and for which acquisition would be long and costly. Schools focus mainly on this second type of knowledge. Their challenge is to enable this lengthy and costly learning, and to do so, to maintain the motivation of learners. A research path is based on the fact that secondary knowledge is built on the basis of primary knowledge. Indeed, no one is able to teach a mother tongue “initially”, whereas foreign language learning is based on that first language. This work explores the motivational and inexpensive nature of primary knowledge to facilitate the learning of logic as secondary knowledge. By varying the content of logical problems with primary (e.g., food and animals’ features) or secondary knowledge (e.g., grammar rules, mathematics), the first eight experiments highlighted the positive effects of primary knowledge, whether or not the content was familiar. The results showed that primary knowledge promoted performance, emotional investment, confidence in responses and decreased perceived cognitive load. Secondary knowledge seemed to undermine participants’ motivation and generated a feeling of parasitic conflict. In addition, presenting primary knowledge content first reduced the deleterious effects of secondary knowledge presented second and would have an overall positive impact. Three other experiments then tested these results on learning tasks in order to propose an approach that fosters learners’ engagement and learning. These findings tend to show that research about learning would benefit from taking primary knowledge into account rather than neglecting it because it is “already learned”.
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Florence Lespiau. Logique sans peine ? : comment nous sommes plus performants et motivés pour raisonner logiquement à propos des connaissances primaires. Psychologie. Université Toulouse le Mirail - Toulouse II, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017TOU20101⟩. ⟨tel-02135502⟩

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