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ERIC Number: ED223422
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Pages: 26
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Cognitive Demands That Arithmetic Word Problems Impose on Children.
Muth, K. Denise
To determine how children cope with some of the demands imposed on them by arithmetic word problems, 200 sixth-graders were asked to solve prolems modeled after those used by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. A quantitative demand was imposed on the children by adding extraneous information to the problems, and a verbal demand was imposed on them by increasing the syntactic complexity of the problems. Multiple regression analyses indicated that the children's computational ability and reading ability together accounted for 54% of the variance in solution accuracy: 8% and 14%, respectively, of this variance was unique, whereas 32% was common to the abilities. In addition, the analyses indicated that the presence of extraneous information in the problems reduced the accuracy of the children's solutions. The use of complex syntax, on the other hand, had no significant effect on accuracy. The findings suggest that reading ability and computational ability both play important roles in children's successful solution of word problems. The findings also suggest that the presence of extraneous information in word problems can impose a formidable demand on children's limited processing capacities. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Mathematics Education Research; Word Problems