Pensamiento intuitivo en química: Suposiciones implícitas y reglas heurísticas

Translated title of the contribution: Intuitive thinking in chemistry: Implicit assumptions and heuristics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The central goal of this work is to illustrate the extent to which science students' reasoning is constrained by a) implicit assumptions about the properties and behavior of the relevant entities in the domain, and b) shortcut reasoning procedures (heuristics) in order to build explanations, generate inferences, and make predictions and decisions with limited time and knowledge. Results from our research consistently suggest that, even at college level, students' thinking is largely controlled by these types of cognitive constraints. Solving problems, generating explanations, or building inferences seems to involve the activation or instantiation of a spectrum of constraints, from domain-general to domain-specific, from implicit to explicit, which may act in complementary or competitive ways. The goal is not necessarily to achieve conceptual coherence, but rather local explanatory coherence during a specific task in a determined context. The characterization of students' intuitive thinking is thus of central importance in the development of curriculum and teaching strategies that better support student learning in science, as well as in the design of assessment tools to gather valid evidence of student understanding.

Translated title of the contributionIntuitive thinking in chemistry: Implicit assumptions and heuristics
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)165-174
Number of pages10
JournalEnsenanza de las Ciencias
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Chemistry learning
  • Cognitive constraints
  • Conceptual change
  • Heuristics
  • Implicit assumptions
  • Intuitive thinking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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