DIFFERENTIATING CRITICAL THINKING DISPOSITIONS OF NEWLY ENROLLED EFL UNDERGRADUATES AND POSTGRADUATES THROUGH SVM APPROACH

Yueer Wei and Jie Hu

Keywords

Critical thinking dispositions, EFL students, support vector machine, SVM-RFE

Abstract

This study investigates the degrees of differentiation in integrated and dimensional critical thinking dispositions (CTD) performance between newly enrolled undergraduates (NEUs) and newly enrolled postgraduates (NEPs). One hundred and twenty-two students were involved in the assessment of CTD using the Chinese version of the critical thinking disposition inventory. The support vector machine is first conducted in the critical thinking research field. The results revealed the strongest and weakest dimensions of CTD; the specific degree of differentiation in the integrated and dimensional CTD performance between NEUs and NEPs. Of the 70 features, 31 features were selected as an optimal set to determine the collective effect on differentiating CTD performance; in addition, the two dimensions of systematicity and truth-seeking were the top two dimensions with strong contribution to the difference. This study might have implications for the cultivation of critical thinking within English language learning and teaching.

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