Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Inferential Learning and Reasoning

  • Norbert M. SeelEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_583



In contrast to  acquisitive learning and  experiential learning, inferential learning refers to a kind of learning which enables people to construct new knowledge by thinking. The knowledge produced in this manner does not necessarily need to have any connection to experiences, although it originates in them. The thinking operations involved in this process of knowledge construction are inferential and content extending. However, this requires from the learner a conviction that there are regularities in the world which, although they might escape immediate observation, can be inferred by logical reasoning. Inferential learning includes (a) deductive reasoning (as truth conserving thinking), (b) inductive reasoning (as content-extending thinking) aiming at  predictive inferences, and (c) abductive reasoning.

Theoretical Background

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany