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ERIC Number: ED223417
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Pages: 53
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Naive Theories of Motion.
McCloskey, Michael
Everyday life provides individuals with countless opportunities for observing and interacting with objects in motion. Although everyone presumably has some sort of knowledge about motion, it is by no means clear what form(s) this knowledge may take. The research described in this paper determined what sorts of knowledge are in fact acquired through experience with moving objects. Findings from experiments in which undergraduates solved simple problems concerning the behavior of moving objects are presented. Findings from these and other experiments demonstrate that people develop, on the basis of their everyday experience, remarkably well-articulated naive theories of motion. It is argued that the assumptions of the naive theories are quite consistent across individuals, suggesting that theories developed by different individuals are best described as different forms of the same basic theory. Although the basic theory presented appears to be a reasonable outcome of experience with real-world motion, it is strikingly inconsistent with the fundamental principles of physics. In addition to considering the nature of knowledge acquired through experience with moving objects, the interaction of experience-based knowledge with knowledge acquired through classroom instruction in physics is discussed. (Author/JN)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Misconceptions; National Science Foundation; Science Education Research
Note: Paper to appear in Mental Models, edited by D. Gentner and A. L. Stevens (Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum).