The link between deductive reasoning and maths

Kinga Morsanyi, Teresa McCormack, Eileen O'Mahoney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
496 Downloads (Pure)


Recent studies have shown that deductive reasoning skills (including transitive and conditional inferences) are related to mathematical abilities. Nevertheless, so far the links between mathematical abilities and these two forms of deductive inference have not been investigated in a single study. It is also unclear whether these inference forms are related to both basic maths skills and mathematical reasoning, and whether these relationships still hold if the effects of fluid intelligence are controlled. We conducted a study with 87 adult participants. The results showed that transitive reasoning skills were related to performance on a number line task, and conditional inferences were related to arithmetic skills. Additionally, both types of deductive inference were related to mathematical reasoning skills, although transitive and conditional reasoning ability were unrelated. Our results also highlighted the important role that ordering abilities play in mathematical reasoning, extending findings regarding the role of ordering abilities in basic maths skills. These results have implications for the theories of mathematical and deductive reasoning, and they could inspire the development of novel educational interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalThinking & Reasoning
Early online date10 Oct 2017
Publication statusEarly online date - 10 Oct 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'The link between deductive reasoning and maths'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this