Basic Terms and Terminology Relating to Inferring the Logical Conclusion From a Reading Selection

  • The Cognitive Domain: This domain consists of knowledge, understanding and reading comprehension including identifying a reading passage's topic, main ideas, key and supporting ideas, and drawing logical conclusions including the summaries and possible implications from a text or reading passage.
  • The Psychomotor Domain: The psychomotor domain consists of "hands on skills" like taking a blood pressure and using a blood glucose monitor correctly.
  • The Affective Domain: The affective domain includes the development of attitudes, beliefs, values and opinions. An example of affective domain competency is developing a belief that exercise is a valuable part of wellness.
  • Logic: The system of human reasoning and thought that allows us to draw logical and valid inferences and conclusions from assumptions.
  • Critical thinking: Deep, logical thinking and reasoning that facilitates the best decisions and to solve complex issues and problems such as occurs with reading comprehension.
  • Explicit: Something that is clearly stated and in enough detail to make it unambiguous and without any confusion or doubt. Things that are explicit are exact, specific, exact, detailed and unambiguous.
  • Implicit: The antonym, or opposite, of explicit. Words that are implicit are not clearly stated, but instead, implicit words or sentences are suggested, not expressed, not declared or stated, tacit and implied. Implicit statements, however, are silently understood and they can also be induced or deduced from the reading passage.
  • Inferences: Logical reasoning that is used to go from a premise or premises to a valid conclusion. There are three types of inferences. These types are deductive inferences, inductive inferences and abductive reasoning.
  • Deduction: The reasoning that uses our ability to come to a conclusion as based on a premise, fact or truth.
  • Induction: The reasoning that uses our ability to draw a generalization and inferences from a set of facts.
  • Abduction: The reasoning, which is a type of inference, moves from observations and data to a hypothesis.
  • Implications: Unspoken or unwritten, implicit conclusion, ramifications, and consequences that are arrived at using logical deduction.
  • Conclusion: The readers' interpretation of the implicit and unwritten or unspoken outcome of a particular reading passage.

Logic and Reasoning

Logic and reasoning are essential in terms of reading comprehension and the ability to infer logical conclusions from a reading selection or a reading passage.

Readers of a reading selection or a reading passage read the words and parts of the reading passage and then they use their critical thinking skills as well as their logical reasoning to accurately and appropriately use deductive and inductive reasoning and thought to understand and comprehend the explicit meanings contained in the reading passage, to uncover and discover the implicit meanings contained in the reading passage, and to integrate their previous knowledge and experiences to uncover and comprehend the suggestive thoughts found in the reading passage to infer a sound conclusion.

Other skills, in addition to the use of critical thinking, include the ability to move beyond the basic lower levels of cognitive domain of learning.

There are three domains of learning including:

  • The Cognitive Domain

This domain consists of knowledge, understanding and reading comprehension including identifying a reading passage's topic, main ideas, key and supporting ideas, and drawing logical conclusions including the summaries and possible implications from a text or reading passage.

The six levels of the cognitive domain from the basic to the most complex are knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

  • The Psychomotor Domain

The psychomotor domain consists of "hands on skills" like taking a blood pressure and using a blood glucose monitor correctly.

The seven levels of this domain are perception, set, guided response, mechanism, complex overt response, adaptation and origination.

  • The Affective Domain

The affective domain includes the development of attitudes, beliefs, values and opinions. An example of affective domain competency is developing a belief that exercise is a valuable part of wellness.

There are five levels, which are receiving, responding, valuing, organization and characterization by a value or a value complex.

It is the cognitive domain that is applied to the logic and reasoning that is used for reading comprehension as well as testing your ability to comprehend reading passages on your TEAS examination.

There are six levels or categories to the cognitive domain. The mnemonic Killing Cats Almost Always Seems Mean (K-C-A-A-S-M) is an easy way to remember them. Arranged from the least complex to the most complex, these six levels are as follows:

  • Knowledge

Knowledge is the lowest and most basic level of the cognitive domain. This level includes the remembering or recall of previously learned facts and material.

For example, the TEAS examination may test you about a detail of a story or a nonfictional reading passage.

  • Comprehension

Comprehension involves the grasping of some understanding and meaning from the material that was presented. At this level of the cognitive domain, the reader of a text has to be able to comprehend, understand and interpret implicit and explicit information that was presented in the story or the reading passage. Comprehension is very different from the straightforward recall of facts and details that occurs at the lowest level of the cognitive domain.

For example, the TEAS examination may test your reading comprehension at this level of the cognitive domain when the examination asks you about the possible consequences of accepting or rejecting an argument or opinion of an author in a persuasive or argumentative essay or another fictional or nonfictional reading passage.

  • Application

At this level of the cognitive domain, the reader should now be able to use and apply the material that was learned in the reading passage into a new or different situation. This level can involve the application of an author's thesis, or theory, concept, principle, rule, key idea or supporting ideas into a new or different situation.

For example, the TEAS examination may test you about how a fictional character's value system can be applied to your current life situation or the TEAS examination may test you about how some nonfictional ethical principle can be applied to your future role as a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse.

  • Analysis

The next highest level of the cognitive domain is analysis. Analysis is the next to the most complex stage. At this level of the cognitive domain, the reader should be able to break down the reading material into smaller parts so that the reader of the text is able to see and understand the relationships and interrelationships among these parts and/or some unifying principles or themes in the text or reading material.

Analysis is based on deductive reasoning, which will be discussed and described in the section below this section of your TEAS review book.

For example, the TEAS examination may test you about the sequencing of events and how the steps in this sequencing of events impacted on each other and the conclusion of the fictional story or the TEAS examination may test you about how the nonfictional steps in the chain of infection are interrelated and, as such, lead to human infections and infectious diseases.

  • Synthesis

Synthesis is the ability to put together parts or pieces of the newly learned knowledge in order to create a new whole, new structure and/or new patterns. In a sense, synthesis is the opposite of analysis; analysis entails breaking material down to smaller parts and synthesis entail the collection or conglomeration of smaller parts in to a larger part. Synthesis is based on inductive reasoning, which will be discussed and described in the section below this section of your TEAS review book.

For example, the TEAS examination may test you about implicit and explicit details and how these details are linked together to arrive at a logical conclusion.

  • Evaluation

Evaluation is the highest and most complex level of the cognitive, or knowledge, domain. This level involves the readers' ability to come to some value judgment about the material. This level contains elements of the other five, or lower, levels of the cognitive domain in addition to a conscious value judgment based on some objective criteria.

For example, the TEAS examination may test you about implicit and explicit details and how these details are linked together to arrive at a logical conclusion.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is defined as deep, logical thinking and reasoning that facilitates the best decisions and to solve complex issues and problems such as occurs with reading comprehension.

An essential part of critical thinking and analysis involves questioning. By asking lots of ‘why', ‘how', ‘what-else', and ‘what-if' type questions you begin to explore options, alternatives, and conclusions that will help you to achieve the highest levels of reading comprehension.

For example, you may ask yourself:

  • Why did the fictional character in the reading passage fail to get to the meeting on time?
  • Why did a fictional character in the reading passage assume that the young child was ill?
  • How did the child in the story discover how to solve the complex puzzle that was described in the book?
  • What else could have caused the infection?
  • What else could have occurred as a risk factor for a person's development of HIV or AIDS?
  • What if the main character in the story had gone on the skiing trip with his friends instead of going with them?
  • What could have happened if, when the "voices" of the psychotic person were command statements and the psychotic person acted according to the commands of the "voices".

Socratic questioning and critical analysis is part of the critical thinking process that is necessary to fully understand and comprehend reading passages. Socratic questioning is the process of digging deep into the issue or concern. It involves resolving inconsistencies and ambiguities and exploring various, diverse points of view and assumptions.

Socratic questioning and critical analysis involve asking questions that explore problems, issues concepts, principles, implications, consequences and/or theories in order to accurately comprehend a reading passage without any preconceived assumptions. Critical analysis differs from routine questioning in that critical analysis; critical analysis is more disciplined, structured, deeper, more disciplined and systematic than routine questioning.

Implicit and Explicit Meanings

In order to comprehend reading passages, the reader must be able to identify and understand the explicit meanings within the reading passage and also to uncover and comprehend the implicit meanings contained in the reading passage.

Explicit meanings are those meanings that are clearly stated and in enough detail to make the meaning unambiguous and without any confusion or doubt. Things that are explicit are exact, specific, exact, detailed and unambiguous. The antonym, or opposite, of explicit is implicit.

The antonym, or opposite, of explicit is implicit. Implicit meanings, on the other hand, are those meanings that are not clearly stated, but instead, implicit words or sentences are implied, suggested, not expressed, and not declared or stated; they are tacit and implied. Implicit statements, however, are silently suggested and they can be understood and they can also be induced or deduced from the reading passage.

Deductive and Inductive Thinking

Reading comprehension also results from one's ability to accurately and appropriately use deductive and inductive reasoning and thought

Deduction is defined as the reasoning that uses our ability to come to a conclusion as based on a premise, fact or truth; and induction is defined as the reasoning that uses our ability to draw a generalization and inferences from a set of facts.

Deductive reasoning moves from the general to the specific or a cause to an effect. Deduction, or deductive reasoning, is accurate and highly useful when the facts, truths, or premises that it is based on are accurate and true. Faulty deduction occurs when one or more of the premises, truths and/or facts are faulty, inaccurate and/or not true.

For example, a person may accurately conclude that it will rain when they hear thunder in their immediate geographic area and they see a black sky over head or when they conclude that their child is sick when their skin is warm, they have a temperature and they are sleepy.

On the other hand, these conclusions would not be accurate when their eyeglasses are dirty and this makes the sky above look black when it is not and when the thermometer is broken and not taking an accurate temperature for a sick child. Again, deductive reasoning is accurate and highly useful when the facts, truths, or premises that it is based on are accurate and true; and faulty deduction occurs when one or more of the premises, truths and/or facts are faulty, inaccurate and/or not true.

Inductive reasoning, in contrast to deductive reasoning, is the use of our ability to draw a generalization and inferences from a set of facts. Inductive reasoning moves from the specific to the general and this type of reasoning is used when a person is looking at, or observing, a problem, or phenomenon to determine why this problem or phenomenon is occurring. For example, if you repeatedly observe that your infant is crying incessantly despite all of your efforts like feeding and changing the infant, you will want to discover why this infant continues to cry. You may conclude that, for some reason, the infant may possibly be in pain.

The Integration of Previous Knowledge and Experiences to Comprehend Suggestive Thoughts

Readers must be able to integrate their previous knowledge and experiences to uncover and comprehend the suggested and implicit thoughts found in the reading passage, to infer a sound conclusion to it and to identify some of the implications in the text.

For example, a typical reader will not be able to integrate their previous knowledge and experiences to uncover and comprehend the suggested and implicit thoughts found in the reading passage relating to quantum physics, but they should be able to integrate their previous knowledge and experiences to uncover and comprehend the suggested and implicit thoughts found in the reading passage relating to current global events and the sights and scents of a woodland or a forest. Additionally, using the same example above, a reader may accurately conclude and infer that it will rain in the reading passage because they hear thunder in their immediate geographic area and they see a black sky over head.

The reader is able to make these inferences and draw these conclusions because they have prior knowledge of these phenomena because they have either formally or informally learned about rain and the signs of rain or they have, over the years of their life, experienced rain and thunder storms to the extent that they know the signs of rain and thunder storms.

Inferences result from logical reasoning that is used to go from a premise or premises to a valid conclusion; in contrast, implications are defined as an unspoken or an unwritten, implicit conclusion, ramifications, and consequences that are arrived at using logical deduction; and, a conclusion is defined as the readers' interpretation of the implicit and unwritten or unspoken outcome of a particular reading passage.

Readers, particularly adult readers, have wide breadths and depths of knowledge and experiences. Adults, like you, have varying degrees of formal and informal knowledge acquisition and varying degrees of life experiences and personal experiences. Previous knowledge and experiences help us to comprehend reading material and to uncover and comprehend the suggestive thoughts found in the reading passage to infer a sound and logical conclusions.

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