Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Interdisciplinaria]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/rss.php?pid=1668-702720110002&lang=pt vol. 28 num. 2 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.ar <![CDATA[<b>Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigaciones en Psicología Matemática y Experimental "Dr. Horacio J.A. Rimoldi" (CIIPME - CONICET) 40º aniversario</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272011000200001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt <![CDATA[Attitudes towards statistics of university students]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272011000200002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Los propósitos de la investigación que se informa fueron: (a) describir las opiniones y actitudes hacia la Estadística de estudiantes de carreras universitarias no humanísticas, tales como Ingeniería, Física, etc. y humanísticas, tales como Psicología, Ciencias de la Educación, etc. y (b) analizar la influencia sobre las opiniones y actitudes hacia la Estadística de ciertas variables, tales como condiciones didácticas de los profesores de Matemática y/o Estadística, promedio de calificaciones obtenidas durante el secundario, opinión sobre la utilidad de la Estadística para su profesión, etc. Con tal fin se administraron un cuestionario de datos personales y dos escalas de actitudes hacia la Estadística construidas de acuerdo a dos métodos diferentes (Diferencial Semántico de Osgood e Intervalos Aparentemente Iguales de Thurstone). La muestra era de tipo incidental no probabilística e integrada por 229 estudiantes universitarios (64% mujeres y 36% varones), el 68% era de carreras no matemáticas y el 32% de carreras matemáticas. Para comparar los dos grupos de estudiantes se aplicaron pruebas de diferencias de medias de muestras no correlacionadas. Los resultados obtenidos indican que los estudiantes de carreras humanísticas poseen actitudes más desfavorables hacia la Estadística que los estudiantes de carreras no humanísticas. Las condiciones didácticas de los profesores de Matemática y Estadística, el promedio de calificaciones obtenidas en Matemática durante el secundario y la opinión sobre la utilidad de la Estadística para el ejercicio de la profesión influyen en forma estadísticamente significativa sobre la formación de las actitudes hacia la Estadística.<hr/>It is very usual to observe in many of the students of Psychology, Sociology, and Education some negative attitudes toward Statistics. In this sense we thought it would be interesting to analyze the problem. Obviously it would be of interest to change this negative attitude into a positive one, since the knowledge of Statistics is an important tool to analyze, systematize and interpret the facts of the real world. Besides psychologists as well as sociologists must be able to understand perfectly the data of quantitative research papers as well as the results obtained using statistical programs such as the SPSS. The objectives of this research were: (a) the description of opinions and attitudes towards Statistics from university students in non humanistic disciplines such as Engineering, Physic, Chemistry, etc. versus students in humanistic careers such as Psychology and Sociology, (b) to analyze the influence upon attitudes towards Statistics from variables such as didactics competences of Statistics and Mathematics professors, average marks obtained at secondary school, opinions about usefulness of Statistics for their future professional role and so on. A questionnaire on personal data and two attitude scales toward Statistics were constructed. One of them with items scaled following Osgood's Semantic Differential, with 14 bipolar adjectives. The other following the Thurnstone's Method of Equal-Appearing Intervals. An exploratory factorial analysis was carried on to determine the factors underlying intercorrelations between the scores of the subjects that evaluate (judge) the 50 items of the scale. The factorial method used was that of principal axes with varmus rotation process and also promax to obtain the simple structure. There were obtained 5 factors, which explained 75% of the variance. The final scale was reduced to 23 items. The factors depict dimensions such as likeness, trust, usefulness, anxiety and difficulty. The sample was not probabilistic but incidental with 229 university students; 64% women and 36% men. In the sample 68% were students from non mathematical disciplines and 32% from mathematical ones. To compare the two groups of students we used the mean non correlated differences test. As for the results when we analyzed the construct statistics the comparable profiles of means obtained in the 14 scale of bipolar adjectives (Osgood Scale) we found: (a) comparing students from non humanistic disciplines versus humanistic ones, the first group says Statistics are more ‘agreeable, plain, useful, clear, necessary, understanding, important, preferred, beautiful, profound, strong and pleasant'. Regarding the influence of some variables on attitudes towards Statistics we observe: (a) didactics ability of Statistics and Mathematics teachers, (b) average marks in secondary school Mathematics and (c) the opinion on the usefulness of Statistics in their future professional role. <![CDATA[Neonatal treatment with clomipramine and depression: A review of behavioral and physiological findings]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272011000200003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Many times in science, the discovery of a treatment that has certain effect happens accidentally while the scientists are investigating another phenomenon. This is the case of the discovery of a possible animal model of depression by the administration of clomipramine (CLI) during neonatal days. Adult animals exposed to CLI in neonatal days showed alterations in REM sleep (for example, the decrease of REM latency); lower weight, disruptions in locomotor activity (the increase in activity depend on the dark / light phase in which the test starts, when the animals were tested in the light phase they found increase in activity, but no changes were observed when the animals were tested in the dark phase); less intracraneal self-stimulation, lower saccharin and sucrose consumption, less suppression of the consummatory behavior, sexual alterations in males (for example, expressed as a lower number of mounts and ejaculations; no alterations were found in the activity of the Hypothalamic - Pituitary - Gonadal axis and the level of testosterone was normal), higher alcohol consumption, disruptions in the agonistic response (CLI - treated animals were significantly less aggressive than control groups) and in learning (in the passive avoidance task and 8 radial arm maze) compared to untreated animals (rats that received vehicle during neonatal days). Several of these abnormalities could be reversed with those treatments that are effective for treating depression in humans (antidepressive drugs, nicotine and REM sleep deprivation treatment). These results were obtained in male rats of different strains and in hamsters, and at different months, the majority of them at 3-4 months, and some of them after the sixth, this could be because some changes were caused with the decrement in the age of the animals, although further research is needed to elucidate this issue. Neuroendocrinal alterations analogous to those found in human depression were also discovered in CLI - treated rats, although the data is contradictory. These include Hypothalamic - Pituitary - Adrenal axis alterations; while it is true that some experimental results found that CLI - treated rats have a higher basal level of corticosterone than controls, others found that not only do they differ in basal level, also during the stress situation; circulating corticosterone increases less and returns more rapidly to basal levels than control groups. For this reason, we can conclude that if alterations in the HPA axis indeed exist in CLI - treated animals, it is still unclear in which way the deregulation is manifested. Other results support the hypothesis that alterations found in CLI - treated animals are due to alterations in serotoninergic transmission during a critical period of development, such as the neonatal stage; more specifically, a reduction in the hypothalamic concentration of serotonin, like a decrease in the neuronal firing in the dorsal raphe nucleus. An increase in cholinergic activity was also found, although the data in this field is not as vast as that found in relation to the neurotransmission of serotonin. All of these results suggest that rats treated with CLI during neonatal days present alterations in adulthood analogous to human depression, however other findings indicate that is not yet a valid model. Further research is needed, and we have to be cautious with the conclusions because there is some evidence suggesting that this is a promising model but other does not support its validity. If a model like the neonatal administration of CLI achieves the reproduction of some symptoms, neurophysiological and behavioral alterations of depression, the advantages are invaluable. In this sense, neonatal treatment with CLI is a very promising animal model for the study of depression.<hr/>El presente trabajo describe los principales resultados acerca de un nuevo y probable modelo animal de depresión. Este modelo se basa, paradójicamente, en la administración de un antidepresivo, clomipramina, a ratas neonatas. Cuando los animales alcanzan la adultez, muestran alteraciones comportamentales que pueden ser interpretadas como depresivas, como hiperactividad, descenso en la búsqueda de placer, anormalidades en el sueño, entre otras. Se analizan los posibles mecanismos neurofisiológicos y neuroendocrinos involucrados. A pesar de las limitaciones que ofrece un modelo animal, es importante cómo logra reproducir algunos síntomas hallados en la depresión y debido a esto las ventajas del mismo son invaluables. Además, pueden estudiarse los mecanismos cerebrales implicados en la patogénesis y tratamiento del trastorno que por razones éticas son impensables de llevar a cabo en humanos. Por ello, se considera de gran valor el estudio realizado con el modelo de clomipramina con la perspectiva de que se siga trabajando en la validación del mismo. <![CDATA[Psychology and logic: A transdisciplinary relation]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272011000200004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt El presente trabajo constituye una reflexión teórica sobre la vinculación transdisciplinaria entre la Lógica y la Psicología. Como punto de partida se explicitan los tipos de conexión entre disciplinas que caracterizan a las relaciones inter, multi y transdisciplinarias. A continuación,se revisa el psicologismo como un planteamiento en favor de una relación Lógica - Psicología y se presenta al anti-psicologismo como la respuesta a dicho planteamiento. El anti-psicologismo es descrito como un problema para el establecimiento de la relación Psicología - Lógica y por ende se discute la necesidad de eliminar dicho problema antes de esbozar cualquier tipo de relación entre ambas. Se retoman las ideas planteadas por Putnam, Beuchot y Dussel como argumentos para refutar la distinción ser / deber ser entendida como el sustento del anti-psicologismo. Habiendo eliminado el fundamento del anti-psicologismo se posibilita la alteración de la forma en que se discute sobre la relación entre la Lógica y la Psicología a partir de lo cual se presentan, por un lado, con algunos apuntes y ejemplos sobre la forma en que la Lógica puede resolver problemas internos de la Psicología al emplearse herramientas tales como la axiomatización de modelos, el uso de propiedades formales como análogos de funciones psicológicas y el análisis meta-teórico, y por el otro, con la forma en que la Psicología puede proporcionar conocimientos para la construcción de sistemas no-monotónicos de la Lógica y apoyar la didáctica de la Lógica mediante técnicas basadas en la investigación psicológica. El trabajo concluye con algunas ideas que pueden inducir futuros desarrollos de vinculación entre la Lógica y la Psicología.<hr/>This paper constitutes a theoretical discussion on the transdisciplinary relationships between Logic and Psychology as a way to give an argument for its legitimacy. This is important because such an enterprise may set the trend to develop better and more explicit ways of dealing with fundamental problems that must be attended in setting up a research project or an applied tool that builds upon a connection between related disciplines. As a starting point three types of connection between disciplines that characterize multi, inter and transdiscipline relations are presented. These relations have specific generate knowledge and develop research methods which distinguish them. The specific relation to whom this paper is directed is the relation between Logic and Psychology. Following this point, psychologism is defined as a point of view in which Logic has its origins or can be reduced to a field of Psychology, as such it is considered as a proposal in favor of a relation between Logic and Psychology and is therefore revisited. Then, anti-psychologism, which stands for a position in which Logic doesn't have its origins or cannot be reduced to Psychology, is presented as the response to psychologism. Anti-psychology and Logic and hence the necessity to eliminate such a problem before the shaping of any kind of a relationship between them is discussed. From there on, the paper builds upon the ideas presented by Putman, Beuchot and Dussel to construct an argument that may refute the is / must be distinction understood as the foundation of anti-psychologism. Such ideas are specifically: (a) The fact that no distinction between is / must be can be drawn because they are both conventionally constructed, (b) the idea that must be values aren't artificial or arbitrary, they have their bases of existence on the nature of the way things are, and (c) that in the description of the nature of things there is a certain value load imbedded in to it. Taken as a whole these ideas show that there is a way to build a balance between values and facts, the is / must be distinction, specifically it is build from the notion that in the empirical description of normality, the general or common way that natural processes occur, a cultural set of values may be inferred, but not in a lineal and asymmetric fashion but more likely as a type of pragmatic-dialectic inference that assigns a balance between the two, giving rise to their conventional and mutually constricted nature. Finally, having eliminated the foundation of anti-psychologism the paper continues to describe what may be seen as a shift in the way the relationship between Logic and Psychology is presented. This is done by transforming the vertical discussion from which a reductionist questions are built to a horizontal one in which such questions are replaced by co-elaboration and communication questions. Near the end, the paper presents some notes and examples on the ways in which Logic can solve some internal problems of Psychology, that is: a Logic of Psychology, such as the building of axiomatic models, the use of formal properties as an analog of psychological functions and in the form of a meta-theoretic analysis. The counterpart of this horizontal relationship is the Psychology of Logic which is exemplified by the way in which Psychology may provide knowledge for the constructions of non-monotonic systems and the development of research based teaching tools for Logic. Finally, the paper ends with some themes which may induce future inquiries on the relation between Logic and Psychology, these are: (a) the legitimacy of other type of relations between Logic and Psychology, mainly on the development of no monotonic models, (b) the avoidance of the danger that Logic may become a mathematical recreation, and (c) to continue with a line of work that Kantor stated in 1945. <![CDATA[Application of the Graded Response Model to a Will-to-Work Scale]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272011000200005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Se presentan los resultados obtenidos con la aplicación de un modelo de la Teoría de Respuesta al Ítem (TRI) a los reactivos de una prueba que mide la Voluntad de Trabajo (VT). La VT es un rasgo de la personalidad que describe la tendencia de un individuo a asumir sus obligaciones con responsabilidad, automotivación y sin dilaciones, aun cuando estas pudieran no ser de su agrado. La escala que mide la VT se compone de 9 ítemes con formato de respuesta ordenada de 4 valores. Se aplicó el Modelo de Respuesta Graduada (MRG) de Samejima a datos provenientes de la administración de la escala de VT a una muestra de 1.141 universitarios. Previamente se verificó la condición de unidimensionalidad de los ítemes, requerida por el MRG. El análisis de los datos se realizó operando el programa MULTILOG. La estimación de los parámetros de este modelo se efectuó por máxima verosimilitud marginal. Sólo uno de los ítemes mostró un comportamiento inadecuado. La mayoría de los parámetros de localización tendieron a ubicarse en niveles medios bajos de la escala. Los parámetros de discriminación adoptaron valores entre moderados y altos. La Función de Información del Test evidenció que la escala es más precisa para discriminar individuos con niveles medios-bajos del rasgo evaluado. Los resultados revelaron los problemas que presenta la escala de VT y permitieron obtener información útil para orientar la construcción de nuevos reactivos.<hr/>This study aims to present the findings obtained from the application of an Item ResponseTheory model (IRT) to the reactive of a Will-to-Work Measuring Test (WW). WW is defined as the individuals' tendency to generate efficient volatile processes that allow them to commit themselves to starting a task and to persisting in its execution by overcoming obstacles until they achieve its materialization with precision and without procrastination. WW is a personality trait that describes the predisposition of an individual to assume duties in a responsible, self-motivated and prompt manner even when such duties may be unappealing. The scale measuring the WW comprises 9 items in polychromous response format (four-point rating scale), with the response options graded. Accordingly, one of the IRT most widely used models was applied for the monetization of ordered polychromous responses: Samejima's Graded Response Model (GRM). The GRM is a generalization of the Two Parameter Logistic Model of Birnbaum. In GRM, a person's probability of responding in category j to a specific item i, Pij(θ), is obtained by subtracting the probability of responding in or below category j-1 from the probability of responding in or below category j.Through the Item Response Category Curves, the GRM allows for the representation of an individual's likelihood to choose each of the item categories based on the level of the latent trait measured. The data from this psychometric test was obtained from a sample of 1,141 university students. The one-dimensional assumption required by the GRM was corroborated through an exploratory analysis of the data factor structure. The local independence assumption was considered to be satisfied after proving the scale one-dimensionality. All analyses based on the IRT were performed by operating the MULTILOG software program. The GRM parameters estimation was carried out through marginal maximum likelihood procedures. A discrimination parameter (a) and three location parameters (b1, b2 and b3) corresponding to thresholds separating the 4 response categories were estimated for each item. The model's goodness-of-fit was studied on an item basis by examining the residue of observed and expected proportions for each of the ordered response categories. The residue obtained was the same as or lower than .01, which led to the conclusion that the model adjustment to the data was satisfactory for all reactive. Despite this, one of the items showed inappropriate behavior. The value of its location parameters turned out to be very different from the expected one and showed high estimation errors when compared against the values obtained for the rest of the items. Most of the location parameters showed midlow WW values and discrimination parameters showed mid-high values (0.73 - 1.73). The instrument's reliability was acceptable if we consider the.75 marginal reliability coefficient obtained from IRT. However, local accuracy measures showed that the test is less reliable when measuring the WW highest levels. In other words, the measure error increases as we attempt to discriminate strongly willful individuals. This means that the WW scale is useful to measure mid-low levels of WW, but less accurate when it comes to individuals whose trait level is higher. It is therefore concluded that it is necessary to raise the number of WW scale items to optimize the instrument quality. It is particularly important to identify construct indicators allowing for a more accurate detection of the highest trait levels. The shortage of the application of IRT models to personality tests as well as the difficulty that the achievement of their exigent assumptions were discussed. The findings showed the problems posed by the WW scale and allowed us to obtain useful information to guide the building of new items. <![CDATA[Executive control and verbal fluency in child population: Quantitative, qualitative and temporal measures]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272011000200006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Para evaluar la evocación de palabras asociadas bajo una consigna de prueba de fluidez verbal (PFV) se tienen en cuenta la cantidad de palabras producidas, las asociaciones categoriales y fonológicas entre ellas y el tiempo en que son evocadas. A continuación se presenta un estudio que se realizó aplicando PFV semánticas y fonológicas en una población infantil (8 - 12 años) de la ciudad de Granada (España), que tuvo por objetivos: (1) revisar las tradicionales medidas en PFV, (2) actualizar los índices temporales de medición y (3) presentar combinaciones de éstas con el fin de establecer con mayor precisión la participación del control ejecutivo en PFV. Se encontraron resultados significativos entre los que se destaca que la combinación entre la medida temporal de evocación de palabras conjuntas y la cualitativa de palabras en relación cluster podría aislar con mayor fiabilidad el compromiso de funciones ejecutivas como el control inhibitorio y la flexibilidad cognitiva. Esto se determinó empleando medidas de regresión, ingresando como variables independientes funciones ejecutivas y como variables dependientes cada una de las medidas de Fluidez Verbal. Para la mencionada combinación de palabras conjuntas - palabras en relación cluster (PFV fonológica letra P) se halló un R² de .41 (p = .000) ingresando como variables predictoras el Trail Making B y la parte Color - Palabra de la versión Trenerry del paradigma Stroop (Lezak, 1995). Se describen también otras posibilidades de medición temporales - cualitativas y su posible utilidad clínica y de investigación.<hr/>Verbal fluency tests (VFTs) are considered semantic cognitive tasks. They demand the retrieval of words under different semantic, phonologic, and grammatical conditions. The measures most commonly used to assess word recall in VFTs are: (1) the number of words produced, (2) categorical and phonological association between words, (3) switching between clusters, and (4) the time at which the words are evoked. These measures involve quantitative (1), qualitative (2 and 3), and temporal (4) analyses. In this study, semantic and phonological VFTs were administered to a child population (8-12 years) in Granada (Spain), in order to: (1) review traditional VFT measures, (2) update temporal indices, and (3) introduce combinations, in an effort to more precisely establish the role of executive control. Topics widely-discussed in the literature include two crucial cognitive processes that underlie VFT performance: semantic processing and executive control, which have been associated with activity in temporal and frontal brain regions, respectively. One of the major challenges in the study of these processes is to distinguish between their separate contributions to VFT execution using obtained data. Measures of switching and clustering have traditionally been used to this end, however they do not take into account the time at which the words are evoked. These measures have also been criticized because their final scores are interrelated and exposed to biases difficult to control. Considering temporal measures important, we evaluated the role of five executive control variables (attentional control, cognitive flexibility, inhibitory control, switching, and sustained control) and their relationship with combined quantitative, qualitative and temporal measures. Time variables were included by placing each word evoked on a sixtysecond timeline of verbal production. This way we were able to simultaneously calculate the clustering and switching of words, and their temporal positions. All of these results were associated with executive measures using predictive association statistical techniques. Significant results were found among those measures that emphasized the combination of temporary and qualitative cluster measures. We were also able to reliably isolate the participation of executive functions such as inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility in the combination of spurts and clusters words. This was determined with Multiple Regression Analysis scores, entering the executive functions as independent variables and each of the verbal fluency measures as dependent variables. For example, an R² of .41 (.000) was obtained for the abovementioned combination of spurted -clustered words in the phonological VFT letter P, entering Trail Making B and Trenerry's Color-Word version of the Stroop task (Lezak, 1995) as predictor variables. When compared, these values clearly exceed those obtained with traditional quantitative and qualitative measures. We discussed these results in relation to the possibility of developing a more precise executive control index for VFTs, specifically for the rapid transition from one word to another related word. As far as we know, only switching (shifting between clusters of words) has been considered an executive control index in VFTs. Here we propose the combination measures described. Possible cognitive mechanisms related to these findings are discussed. Future research must contemplate: (1) a greater sample size, because only 61 participants were studied here, (2) using other technical measures to determine clustering and switching, (3) improving the executive function measures, (4) including other VFTs, such as letter exclusion or action fluency, and (5) extending the procedure to an adult population. <![CDATA[Expository texts comprehension: The relevance of knowledge of children from different socio-cultural environments]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272011000200007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt En investigaciones anteriores sobre los sistemas de actividad de una comunidad rural, se identificaron los conceptos empíricos que desarrollan los niños en el contexto de las actividades familiares, tales como el tejido de palma, la cría de animales y la recolección de hierbas (Amado, 2010; Amado & Borzone, 2003). El objetivo del estudio que se informa fue explorar el rol de los conocimientos previos de los niños de un medio rural en la comprensión de textos expositivos escolares. Para ello se elaboraron tres series de tres textos cada una en las que el primer texto respondía a temas conocidos por los niños, relacionados con los sistemas de actividad y los otros dos eran sobre temas desconocidos. Se analizó el desempeño de los niños de la comunidad rural en la comprensión de estos textos y se compararon los resultados con el desempeño que tuvieron en dichas pruebas niños de un medio urbano. Se realizó un análisis cuanti y cualitativo de las respuestas de los dos grupos de niños a las preguntas realizadas sobre los textos. Los resultados indican que cuando los conocimientos previos se circunscriben a conceptos empíricos, la comprensión se ve favorecida si el texto trata temas conocidos. En el abordaje de temas desconocidos, esos conceptos resultan insuficientes y pueden producir distorsiones en la comprensión, si los niños no han desarrollado habilidades de comprensión lectora, tales como la realización de inferencias y el uso adecuado de la información textual.<hr/>Written text comprehension is considered as an interactive process during which a mental representation is constructed by inferences making that require knowledge about texts, general knowledge about the world and specialized knowledge about the domain being discussed. The cognitive models of text processing emphasize the relevance of these types of knowledge for text comprehension (Gernsbacher, 1990; Kintsch, 1988; van Dijk & Kintsch, 1983). With regard to knowledge about the world, Vygotsky (1962) recognized different forms of conceptualization. He assumed that human beings are able to develop every day concept in the interaction with the environment and scientific concept that are reflective and systematic and must be taught. Within the framework of these contributions from Cognitive Psychology and the socio - cultural theory of human development the present work addressed the role that knowledge about the world of a group of children from a rural area plays in school expository texts comprehension. Expository texts were selected because for the processing of this type of text empirical and scientific concepts have to be activated. In previous studies on the activity systems of a rural community in the north of Córdoba (Argentina), the empirical concepts develop by children in the context of family activities, such as the weaving of palm leaves, animals bringing up and herbs gathering, were explored (Amado, 2010; Amado & Borzone, 2003). In this work the study of the way children from that community deal with expository texts processing was undertaken. With that purpose, three sets of three texts each were elaborated. The text material consisted in nine expository texts, three sets of three texts. Each set presented a progression from a known subject to the rural group (Text 1) to a text far from their natural and cultural environment (Text 3). Text 2 was about an unknown subject but the process described was related with the process described in Text 1. After reading each text, children had to answer eight literal and inferential questions. The answers to these questions were quantitative and qualitatively analyzed. The analysis of the performance of the rural group in understanding texts about known and unknown subjects was compared with the comprehension of a group of children from an urban area who had participated at school in a training program with expository texts. Results showed that the performance of children from the urban area was better than the performance of children from the rural community except in the cases of texts which included empirical concepts, that is, the knowledge that the rural group of children have learnt by their participation in the activity systems. Thus, although empirical concepts facilitated comprehension processes, they were not sufficient for all texts understanding and might be even an obstacle to the construction of coherent mental representation of the text if the children have not developed general comprehension abilities. In fact, it was observed that when rural children activated empirical concepts that were not coherent with text concepts, they had some difficulty to inhibit them. On the contrary, the urban group of children had a good performance in the processing of all the text except one which required handling of very specific knowledge. These results have relevant implications to comprehension teaching at school as they showed that, even though empirical knowledge learnt within the activity systems of the community must be considered, it is also very important to develop general comprehension abilities and scientific concepts. They will allow making a strategic use of knowledge to understand not only texts on subject related to children socio-cultural information but also texts about events and phenomena from other environments which are presented from a scientific concepts perspective. <![CDATA[Deterministic dynamics and chaos: Epistemology and interdisciplinary methodology]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272011000200008&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt We analyze, from a theoretical viewpoint, the bidirectional interdisciplinary relation between Mathematics and Psychology, focused on the mathematical theory of deterministic dynamical systems, and in particular, on the theory of chaos. On one hand, there is the direct classic relation: the application of Mathematics to Psychology. On the other hand, we propose the converse relation which consists in the formulation of new abstract mathematical problems appearing from processes and structures under research of Psychology. The bidirectional multidisciplinary relation from - to pure Mathematics, largely holds with the ‘hard' sciences, typically Physics and Astronomy. But it is rather new, from the social and human sciences, towards pure Mathematics. Summarizing, the problem we focusing in this paper, is not only the application of the mathematical theory of dynamical systems to Psychology, but mainly the following questions: Which psychological processes are involved in the development of pure Mathematics? How can a multidisciplinary space be organized to activate the converse relation, from Psychology towards pure Mathematics? How may Psychology provide a rich field of new mathematical questions to be investigated, not only by applied mathematicians, but also by researchers on pure Mathematics? Even if large advances had been achieved, the application of the mathematical theory to Psychology is still mainly developed by mathematical psychologists and applied mathematicians, in the absence of pure mathematicians. Conversely, the development of the pure Mathematics is now a days mainly developed in the absence of applied scientists, particularly of human and social researchers. This is the opposite situation to the antique posture, in which theoretical Mathematics and Philosophy, for instance, were almost a single science. Along this paper we aim to found how the potential strength of the mathematical tools can be more fully exploited in the interdisciplinary space, and how the necessary development of new abstract and adequate tools in pure Mathematics, may be detected while immersed into an interdisciplinary discussion. This discussion does not need to be ‘applied', in its restricted sense. In fact, Mathematics may still remain abstract and theoretical, bust just break its apparent isolation from other sciences, in particular to those related with the human thinking, like Philosophy and Psychology. The methodology of our analysis along this paper follows three steps: First, we present a partial review, focused in several aspects of the mathematical research, in their interdisciplinary relation with Psychology. Then, we state and analyze epistemologically, the mathematical abstract definitions of dynamical systems, and in particular of deterministic chaos. Finally, we suggest a general meta-theory in the organization of the interdisciplinary space between Mathematics and Psychology, which we illustrate with an hypothetical example. This paper is organized in six sections: At the first one, we briefly introduce the discourse. At the second section, we present a partial survey of the knowledge in the interdisciplinary fields among Mathematics, Psychology and other sciences. That survey is focused on the theory of dynamical systems, and is very partial respect to the whole abundant development in this interdisciplinary field. The third section states the mathematical definitions of dynamical and autonomous system, and of deterministic chaos, and analyze them epistemologically. Among other properties, we revisit the argument of self-organization of deterministic chaos. At the fourt hand fifth sections, we propose a method and a metatheory, according to which, the interdisciplinary space between Mathematics and Psychology may organize its purposes and actions. We consider the epistemological objection of Nowak and Vallacher (1998). They observe that the traditional notions of causality holds in social psychological research, and oppose to (some of) the mathematical models of dynamical systems, which feedback the same variable from one time to the next. In fifth section too, arguing on a particular hypothetically example, we propose a method to model mathematically such systems with causal transitions, provided that the system is deterministic. The modeling method that we propose in this metatheory, solves the epistmological objection of Nowak and Vallacher, in some particular cases. Finally, the last section states the conclusions.<hr/>Se analiza, desde el punto de vista teórico, la relación interdisciplinaria bidireccional, entre-Matemática y Psicología, desde el punto de vista abstracto de la teoría de los sistemas dinámicos determinístícos, y en particular de la teoría del caos. Por un lado, está la relación clásica directa: la aplicación de la Matemática a la Psicología. Por otro lado, se propone y analiza la relación inversa que consiste en la formulación de nuevos problemas matemáticos, resueltos o no resueltos aún, que aparecen de procesos y estructuras bajo investigación de la Psicología. Tradicionalmente, la relación interdisciplinaria bidireccional desde - hacia la Matemática pura teórica, tiene una larga y fructífera trayectoria con otras ciencias duras, típicamente la Física y la Astronomía, pero es relativamente nueva, encarada desde las ciencias humanas y sociales, hacia la Matemática abstracta. El procedimiento de análisis es el siguiente: se presenta una revisión parcial, enfocada en algunos aspectos de la investigación matemática en relación con la Psicología. Luego se enuncian las definiciones matemáticas abstractas de sistemas dinámicos, y en parciular del caos determinista. Finalmente, se sugiere una meta-teoría general, en la organización del espacio interdisciplinario entre Matemática y Psicología, ilustrándolo con un ejemplo hipotético. <![CDATA[Design and validation of contents for a dictionary of academic, professional, and work-related generic competencies for psychologist]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272011000200009&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt El trabajo que se informa presenta los resultados finales del diseño y validación de contenido de un diccionario de competencias genéricas para el profesional en Psicología. Se hace un recuento de las diferentes definiciones dadas al concepto de competencia, desde el enfoque sociolingüístico de Hymes (1972) y del desempeño en el trabajo (McClelland, 1973). Se concluye que éstas integran el saber ser (automotivación, iniciativa y trabajo colaborativo con otros), el saber conocer (observar, explicar, comprender y analizar) y el saber hacer (desempeño basado en procedimientos y estrategias) (Braslavsky & Acosta, 2006; Cejas, 2003; Echeverría, 2002; Ibarra, 2000; Tobón, 2004). Se propone una clasificación teórica del concepto de competencia, retomando autores como Álvarez, Gómez y Ratto (2004), Peiró (2003) y Roe (2003), entre otros, la cual realiza una distinción entre competencias académicas, profesionales y laborales. Se utilizan los planteamientos de Montero y León (2005), así como los de Carretero y Pérez (2007), quienes proveen las herramientas y criterios metodológicos para la validación del diccionario de competencias mediante la evaluación de seis jueces expertos y la aplicación piloto de un instrumento a siete estudiantes y 16 egresados de la Carrera de Psicología. Los resultados de la investigación permitieron la creación de un diccionario de competencias para uso público, el cual constituye una herramienta oportuna para afrontar los retos, demandas y posibilidades para el desempeño del psicólogo, dados los cambios socioeconómicos, demográficos y culturales del Siglo XX1 que influyen sobre la formación y funciones del profesional.<hr/>The following article presents the final results of the design and content validation of a generic competencies dictionary for the trained psychologist. Different authors, such as Collazos and Garcia (1999), argue that the research and identification of competencies have helped to solve the weakness of traditional psychometric tests used to predict worker's productivity. Moreover, Peiró (2003) mentions that in defining the objectives to be achieved by education, it is required to determine the qualifications or competencies that should have a professional. However, in the field of Psychology, there is little research leading to the development of tools for identifying and evaluating competencies among students and professionals (ANECA, 2005; Castro Solano, 2004; González, 2007; Herrera, Restrepo & Uribe, 2008; Pérez-Santamarina & López, 2006; Ruiz, Jaraba & Romero, 2005; Uribe, Aristizábal, Barona & López, 2009). A theoretical overview of the concept of competency has been made, taking in to account different approaches, like the sociolinguistic (Hymes, 1972) and the job performance (McClelland, 1973). From the revised definitions and interpretations given to the concept of competence, it is concluded that they integrate self-knowledge (motivation, initiative, and teamwork with others), self-teaching (observation, explanation, comprehension, and analysis), and ‘know-how' (performance based on strategies and procedures) (Braslavsky & Acosta, 2006; Cejas, 2003; Echeverría, 2002; Ibarra, 2000; Tobón, 2004). Different classifications to the concept of competencies that have been applied to different contexts were also reviewed. For instance, Gordillo (2003) argues that competencies can be grouped into methodological, technical, social, and individual. Álvarez, Gómez, and Ratto (2004) classify them in technique and general competencies, similar to the one proposed by Ruiz, Jaraba, and Romero (2008) and the Agencia Nacional de Evaluación de la Calidad y Acreditación (ANECA, 2005), whoever divide them in general (or transverse) and specific competencies. For the purpose of this research and taking in to account these classifications, it is proposed for this work a distinction between academic, professional, and work-related generic competencies. The creation of the generic competencies dictionary for the trained psychologists followed the guidelines for instrumental studies as suggested by Montero and León (2005) and Carretero and Pérez (2007): the conceptual outline of the evaluation subject, and the design and qualitative evaluation of the items. In the content validation by expert evaluators, participated six professional psychologists with expertise in the fields of research methodology and Organizational Psychology, who are teachers of the Department of Social Sciences from a private university in Cali (Colombia). Subsequently, the pilot application of the instrument was attended by 23 people: 7 final year students of the Career of Psychology and 16 graduates of the same university. These research findings led to the creation of a generic competencies dictionary for public use, composed by 13 academic competencies, 12 professional competencies, and 10 work-related competencies. This dictionary is the result of a research aimed to identify the most significant competencies, as well as the definitions that fit these best, to ensure the recognition of crucial requirements in the field and their adequate implementation among psychologists. It is concluded that this dictionary is useful to understand standards and determine competencies that a professional psychologist must obtain from educational institutions, at least in the work and academic contexts where the research was conducted. It also constitutes a timely contribution to meet the challenges, demands, and possibilities of professional performance, given the socio-economic, demographic, and cultural changes of the 21st century, which impact the training and functions of a professional psychologist. <![CDATA[Academic performance of peruvian elementary school children: The case of schools in Lima at the 6<sup>th</sup> grade]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272011000200010&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Education is in general the basis for development in any country in the world. In the education al field, several international assessments (Pisa, 2006) reflect the great gap that yet subsists among developing countries, in which the case of Peru is not an exception. There have been many national and international academic achievement evaluations that examine the skills and knowledge of students not only in Peru but also in other Latin American countries in different academic domains. One of these examples is the Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (LLECE), in which Peru participated, in order to evaluate and compare the performance achieved by Latin American students of 3rd and 6th grade in core areas like Language, Mathematics, and Natural Sciences. Peru ranks, together with other Latin countries, with scores below the average (Regional Office for Education of UNESCO, 2008). The low ranking of the Peruvian educational system carries heavy implications and consequences, especially to the intellectual and social development of learning disabled Peruvian children. Understanding the relation between academic performance and child development is of paramount importance. The present study examines how spelling, reading and arithmetic performances are associated to various child variables (gender, intelligence, and age), and distal variables such as Socio-Economic Status (SES) or type of school. The subjects in the study were 1.129 elementary school children who were in the 6th grade (11 - 12 years old) in Metropolitan Lima, Perú. Children completed four different tests: In the reading area, the subtest of Procesos Lectores (PROLEC-SE; Cuetos & Ramos, 1999), Reading of Word and Pseudo-word; in the Arithmetic domain, the Number Facility from the Kit of Factor Referenced Cognitive Tests of Ekstrom, French, and Harman (1979) and in the spelling domain, the Spelling Achievement Test from Dioses (2001) was used. The Intelligence Quotient (IQ) was measured using Raven's Progressive Matrices Test (Raven, J., Raven, J.C., & Court, 2004, updated edition). Some preliminary analyses were conducted beforehand in order to overview and examine the structure of the data. Following this, and because of the hierarchical structure of the data (students within classes within schools) multilevel analyses were conducted. Results showed, first and foremost, a great impact of (a) type of school, private schools performed better than in the public sector; (b) intelligence, another essential variable (the higher the IQ the better the academic achievement), and partially of (c) gender, girls showed prevalence over boys in spelling. Likewise, we did not encounter any significant results of socio-economic status in the multilevel analysis. Based on these results, some practical and pedagogical implications were discussed, such as the fundamental effort to bring the lower achievement group into average levels of learning with remedial work, otherwise these students will lack the requisite skills needed to fulfill their secondary school academic expectations. Notwithstanding, we have to point out some limitations such as the lack of data from rural zones that could prevent us from comparisons between rural and urban zones. Future work is necessary in order to investigate academic performance associated with other variables that might influence the child's development, such as parenting behavior or psychosocial factors.<hr/>El estudio que se informa examinó de qué manera el rendimiento académico en diversas áreas del aprendizaje tales como ortografía, lectura y aritmética estuvo asociado con diferentes variables relacionadas con niños (por ejemplo: género, inteligencia y edad). Asimismo, se consideraron algunas variables distales como estatus socioeconómico y tipo de colegio. En el estudio participaron 1.129 niños que cursaban 6to grado de educación primaria en Lima Metropolitana (Perú). Los estudiantes completaron cuatro pruebas: En el área de lectura fueron examinados con un subtest de la prueba Procesos Lectores (PROLEC-SE) Lectura de Palabras y Pseudo - palabras (Cuetos & Ramos, 1999). En el área de Aritmética fueron evaluados con el Subtest de Facilidad Numérica de Ekstrom, French y Harman (1979) y en el caso de Ortografía se aplicó la Prueba de Rendimiento Ortográfico (Dioses, 2001). La variable inteligencia fue medida con la Prueba de Matrices Progresivas de Raven (Raven, J., Raven, J.C. & Court, 2004). Debido a la estructura jerárquica de los datos (estudiantes dentro de clases y clases dentro de escuelas) se aplicó análisis multinivel para cada variable académica (ortografía, lectura y aritmética). Los resultados revelaron un gran impacto en primer lugar del tipo de escuela: los alumnos de escuelas privadas rindieron mejor que los de escuelas públicas en todas las áreas académicas; en segundo lugar, la variable inteligencia juega un rol esencial, cuanto mayor es el coeficiente intelectual del estudiante, mejor es el rendimiento académico, y parcialmente del género; las niñas mostraron un mejor desempeño en comparación con los niños en el área de ortografía. Se discuten en detalle algunas repercusiones pedagógicas.