Reasoning Skills






Reasoning Skills Assignment


Reasoning skills are the processes that underpin all cognitive forms. These skills are important in both communication and written processes of learning. They come in four categories and concepts that include storage skills, matching skills, retrieval skills and execution skills. This paper will examine each of these concepts and their implications on reasoning skills.

The storage and retrieval skills

These skills facilitate the conveyance of information into and out of long-term memory of an individual. The skills enable one to do things in accordance to the received or relate it to already existing information in the long-term memory. For instance, in the visual imagery mediation, an individual develops a representation of the visual information for memory.

Matching skills

These skills assist an individual in the determination of the similarities and differences between incoming information and the information that already exist in the long-term memory. There are about 5 classifications of matching skills. They include categorization, extrapolation, analogical reasoning and logic evaluation (Hanson, 2009, p. 104).

i.                    Categorization

This helps individuals in the classification of ideas and objectives into groups sharing similar or close to similar characteristics. It catalyses the process of thinking and makes it easy to generalize information that comes from isolated ideas or objects. For instance, referring to a truck as a vehicle is a form of categorizing.

ii.                  Extrapolation

This makes it easier for an individual to link information patterns across different areas. This matching strategy is necessary for the activation of the thinking process where upon an individual must not necessarily start from the bottom whenever he or she encounters fresh information. He rather takes already existing information and blends it to a new condition even if it had a different purpose. For instance, one can use his or her knowledge of playing drafts and use it to understand chess. By so doing, the individual would be extrapolating information.

iii.                Analogical reasoning

This is where one identifies the similarities that exist among different ideas and objects. Thereafter, he uses the knowledge of the first ideas and objects for purposes of understanding others. For instance, somebody studying computer would realize that the random access memory (RAM) is equivalent to his or her short-term memory while the hard drive has the same memory equivalence of long-term. This analogy of the memory status of a computer would assist one in the understanding of the relationship between short and long-term memories of an individual. Through analogical reasoning, one is able to combine two basic processes of reasoning for dealing with fresh information and relationships in a more effective manner. The two reasoning processes that can effectively be combined using analogical reasoning include categorization and extrapolation. Any program that is designed to train people the skills of thinking and reasoning must have the component of analogical reasoning (Brubaker, 2005, p. 215).  

iv.                Logic evaluation

This is an assessment process where one compares an information structure with an internalized logic system to find out the validity or truthfulness of the information. For instance, lessons on deductive and inductive logic can follow the rules of locating and avoiding particular errors like hasty generalizations (Felder, 2007, p. 78).   

v.                  Value evaluation

This involves matching of information to a value system that is internalized and then carrying out an analysis of that value system logic. For instance, one can decide to be contented with popular concepts and accept them as accurate because many people do so. On the other hand, one can realize that a popular held belief is not fit for his or her memory. Apparently, value judgments normally incorporate affective and motivational aspects of learning owing to their non-cognitive nature. 

Executive procedures

Reasoning skills cannot be complete without the executive procedures. Here, the skills help in the synchronization of various skills for purposes of assisting individuals to drastically restructure old skills or build fresh cognitive structures. Executive skills fall in three categories.

i.                     Elaboration

This is the process through which one infers information that is not stated explicitly in whatever he or she sees or hears. These inferences require the application of such reasoning skills as elaboration, analogical reasoning, categorization and retrieval of information. Inferring is very important aspect of reasoning because it would enable an individual to think outside the box. This contributes in enhancing the reasoning skills of a person. Elaboration mainly acts to serve two purposes.  It helps to assist in learning situations where the teacher or learning materials such as books do not provide complete information or in those situations where the learner does not perceive the availability of all the information. Elaboration can facilitate a learning process because it would encourage the teacher to skip some areas that the student can infer easily. Similarly, a student can choose to omit some presentation details so as to focus on more important areas. Through this, they are able to catch up on the important ideas and fill up the rest without much trouble (Royal, 2010). 

ii.                  Problem solving

This involves the process of finding out of strategies or relevant information that can help in the achievement of some specific goal for purposes of overcoming an obstacle. Most of life’s endeavors are directed towards the solution of some problems.  Reasoning skills  are necessary for solving problems because they enable one to diagnose the problem first. To begin with, one needs to describe a problem, determine the desired results before selecting potential solutions. Thereafter, he will select the strategies, test the trial solutions as he evaluates the trial results, and revise the necessary steps.

iii.                Composing

New information for the expression of an idea is created through this process of composing.  As a reasoning skill, composing is a problem solving type that enables the communicating concepts in proper ways in order to achieve a goal.




Brubaker, S. H. (2005). Workbook for Reasoning Skills: Exercises for Functional Reasoning and Reading Comprehension. Detroit , Wayne State University Press.

Felder, D. W. (2007). Reasoning Skills for Handling Conflict. Tallahassee, FL , Wellington Press (FL).

Hanson, S. (2009). Legal Method, Skills and Reasoning. Routledge.

Royal, B. (2010). The Little Blue Reasoning Book: 50 Powerful Principles for Clear and Effective Thinking (2nd Edition). Calgary , Maven Publishing.

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