David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Topics in Cognitive Science 3 (3):536-559 (2011)
This article reports the results of an experiment involving 108 college students with varying backgrounds in biology. Subjects answered questions about the evolutionary history of sets of hominid and equine taxa. Each set of taxa was presented in one of three diagrammatic formats: a noncladogenic diagram found in a contemporary biology textbook or a cladogram in either the ladder or tree format. As predicted, the textbook diagrams, which contained linear components, were more likely than the cladogram formats to yield explanations of speciation as an anagenic process, a common misconception among students. In contrast, the branching cladogram formats yielded more appropriate explanations concerning levels of ancestry than did the textbook diagrams. Although students with stronger backgrounds in biology did better than those with weaker biology backgrounds, they generally showed the same effects of diagrammatic format. Implications of these results for evolution education and for diagram design more generally are discussed
|Keywords||Diagrammatic format Historical representations Phylogeny Reasoning Cladograms Tree thinking Biology education Evolution|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Ronald N. Giere, Michael Lynch & Steve Woolgar (1994). Representation in Scientific Practice. Biology and Philosophy 9 (1):113-120.
Robert J. O'Hara (1988). Homage to Clio, or, Toward an Historical Philosophy for Evolutionary Biology. Systematic Zoology 37 (2): 142–155.
Kefyn M. Catley (2006). Darwin's Missing Link—a Novel Paradigm for Evolution Education. Science Education 90 (5):767-783.
Citations of this work BETA
Barbara Tversky (2011). Visualizing Thought. Topics in Cognitive Science 3 (3):499-535.
Similar books and articles
Ron Amundson (1998). Typology Reconsidered: Two Doctrines on the History of Evolutionary Biology. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 13 (2):153-177.
Elliott Sober (2000). Philosophy of Biology. Westview Press.
Laura Perini (2005). Explanation in Two Dimensions: Diagrams and Biological Explanation. Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):257-269.
Brice Halimi (2012). Diagrams as Sketches. Synthese 186 (1):387-409.
Peter Spirtes, Thomas Richardson, Chris Meek & Richard Scheines, Using Path Diagrams as a Structural Equation Modelling Tool.
Timothy Shanahan (2004). The Evolution of Darwinism: Selection, Adaptation, and Progress in Evolutionary Biology. Cambridge University Press.
Olivier Rieppel (2010). The Series, the Network, and the Tree: Changing Metaphors of Order in Nature. Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):475-496.
Added to index2010-08-11
Total downloads29 ( #140,087 of 1,911,315 )
Recent downloads (6 months)18 ( #34,334 of 1,911,315 )
How can I increase my downloads?