Identifying paralogisms in two ethnically different contexts at university level / Identificación de paralogismos en dos contextos universitarios diferenciados étnicamente

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Infancia y Aprendizaje, ISSN: 1578-4126, Vol: 39, Issue: 1, Page: 119-149

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Rapanta, Chrysi; Walton, Douglas
Informa UK Limited
Social Sciences; Psychology; argument fallacies; paraschemes; university students; study major; culture; Arts and Humanities
article description
Although educational researchers have long tried to answer the question ‘Who reasons well?’, little has been done in regards to the influence of culture on argumentative reasoning quality. Among the factors that have been related with the construction of valid arguments, counterarguments and rebuttals by adults are: explicit argument training, task instructions and prior knowledge. No clear evidence exists regarding the influence of the ethnical background on the flaws or fallacies of reasoning. The present study applies the recent theory of paraschemes as a tool to identify university students’ paralogisms in a common argument-mapping task on everyday issues in two different cultural contexts: one European (Spain) and one Middle Eastern (United Arab Emirates). Our analysis showed that the influence of ethnical background was not statistically significant regarding the type and amount of paralogisms committed. On the contrary, the participants’ study major, being business or education, was shown to influence the production of argument fallacies. Implications of these findings for higher education are discussed.