Cognitive and Instructional Processes in History and the Social Sciences

By Mario Carretero; James F. Voss | Go to book overview

TABLE 2.2
Types of Variables and Factors Involved in Each Variable in General Structure
Independent Variables
(Psychological)
Moderator Variable
(Sociological)
Dependent Variables
(Economic) (Political)
(Historical)
Demographic factors Sociopolitical factors Attitudes & beliefs
of country
Age, sex, class Type of economy
Child rearing GNP Knowledge &
understanding
Belief factors Educational factors Economic & behavior
Parental, religion Type of schooling Ability to reason with
politics this information
Individual differences Economic cycle
Intelligence
Personality

columns is debatable. Third, the model does not have any "feedback" loops, suggesting all relationships are unidirectional, which is clearly not the case. Finally, the model specifies the relationship between, not within, the particular grouping of variables which are of course related.

But a flow chart is more than a heuristic device. It allows for path analysis hypotheses to be formulated as to the major antecedents of socioeconomic understanding and reasoning.

This flow chart was derived partly from theory and partly from research. Over 90 years of research on the Protestant work ethic has led to the development of various models that attempted to explain how and why people subscribe to the tenets of that belief system ( Furnham, 1990). These models have attracted critical and empirical interest. One of the problems concerning research in this whole area is that many studies have been perceived as empirical attempts to test specific hypothesis. Nearly all the "theories" or approaches were highly derivative of other research areas. The result of 30 to 40 years research is therefore not particularly inspiring, although recent research efforts are highly promising ( Berti & Bombi, 1988; Haste & Turney-Purta, 1992). Clearly for a comprehensive and programmatic research endeavor, one needs some theoretical and epistemological model on how to guide the research. Although the model is far from adequate, it at least provides a framework within which to conduct research.


REFERENCES

Abramovitch R., Freedman J., & Pliner P. ( 1991). Children and money: Getting an allowance, credit versus cash, and knowledge of pricing. Journal of Economic Psychology, 12, 27-45.

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