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Reasoning is the ability to think abstractly, draw inferences, identify patterns and relationships, and apply logic in order to flexibly solve novel problems. Reasoning is a key predictor of basic math fluency, abstract mathematical thinking, and improvement in math skills over time.
Reasoning may also be called non-verbal reasoning, fluid reasoning, fluid intelligence, or analogical reasoning. The critical aspect is that Reasoning is used to think and apply logic in new situations in contrast to crystallized intelligence, which is used to directly retrieve and apply specific learned knowledge or skills.
Reasoning begins to develop early in life and continues through adulthood. The development of Reasoning and math performance follow a similar trajectory of increasing rapidly during early and middle childhood and slowing somewhat by adolescence. These shared developmental trajectories suggest a key role of Reasoning in math performance.