The role of cognitive style and its influence on proportional reasoning
It has been suggested that proportional reasoning tasks contain field effects. Field-dependent students are considered to be highly influenced by the structure of the perceptual field and lack an articulated conceptual framework. To test the hypothesis that there is a significant correlation between field independence and proportional reasoning tasks, a sample of science students were tested to determine performance in proportional reasoning and degree of field independence. It was found that even students who are normally capable of proportional reasoning can be misled by the presence of field effects. A significant correlation (r = 0.50; p = 0.001) was found between the test of field independence and the nine items of proportional reasoning. Educational implications are drawn.