What Is Perceptual Reasoning?

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Perceptual reasoning is a category of reasoning skills including nonverbal fluid reasoning, spatial processing and the visual perception. It is one of four reasoning groups tested by the Weschsler Intelligence Scale for Children. Activities such as organizing and classifying objects, drawing inferences and problem solving use perceptual reasoning skills.

Most nonverbal skills fall into perceptual reasoning from building with blocks to problem solving tasks like balancing a chemistry equation. The Weschsler Intelligence Scale for Children, for instance, tests perceptual reasoning skills with a variety of activities. Block design tests abstract problem solving and spatial perception, matrix reasoning tests inductive reasoning, and spatial reasoning and visual puzzles test spatial reasoning and the ability to perceive visual details. Essentially, perceptual reasoning skills are the skills a person uses to learn and store new information from the environment as opposed to recalling and using information at a later date. One of the most important aspects of perceptual reasoning is the ability to recognize and organize visual stimuli. Children with low perceptual reasoning skills will exhibit problems with activities involving vision and the processing of visual stimuli. For instance, a child with low perceptual reasoning may have difficulty learning and recognizing right from left or reverse letter or numbers when writing.