Educational Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

December 1978


Published in British Journal of Psychology 69 (1978), pp. 371–372. Copyright © 1978 British Psychological Society. Used by permission.


In a recent article in this Journal, Brée & Coppens (1976) tested Brée’s (1973) model of performance on Wason’s extensively studied “four-card task.” The Brée model is of considerable interest in that it (a) differentiates comprehension of the proposition to be tested from the hypothesis- testing strategy itself (as do Smalley, 1974, and Moshman, 1977), and (b) is closely related to Piaget’s theory of formal operations (Inhelder & Piaget, 1958) in its consideration of combinatorial analysis (elaboration of possibilities) and hypothetico-deductive reasoning (reasoning based on possibilities rather than facts). Unfortunately, the test of the model is marred both by incorrect predictions and questionable exclusion of subjects from the data analysis.