ERIC Number: ED382249
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-May-23
Reference Count: N/A
Mastermind: An Activity for Becoming Aware of Negative Mental Sets.
Gershaw, David A.
Since 1974, the game, Mastermind, has been a partial requirement for an introduction to psychology course at Arizona Western College. The game is designed to help students become aware of negative mental sets and apply critical thinking skills, and requires students to duplicate a code consisting of four different colored pegs arranged in a particular order. With each attempt to solve the code, they are given feedback via white and black pegs to provide information for subsequent attempts. Students play until they complete three games and then write a paragraph describing the relationship of the game to psychology. Outcomes were analyzed for 335 students completing the course and the Mastermind requirement between fall 1980 and spring 1982 and for 141 completing between summer 1992 and spring 1993. Results included the following: (1) for both groups, 69% had never played the game before, but experience with the game was not shown to have a significant effect on fulfilling the outcome; (2) with respect to the number of games needed to reach three successful attempts, the mean, median, and mode for both groups were all between four and five games; (3) regarding the relationship of the game to psychology, 50% of the first sample cited its relation to logic or thinking, compared to 39% of the second group; (4) 14.3% of the first, and 12.8% of the second, found a relationship to negative sets of thinking; and (5) for both samples, 59% thought the game was worth the time and effort, 28% did not think so, and 13% did not respond. (The Mastermind student questionnaire and background information on the game for tutors are appended.) (KP)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Mastermind (Game)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual International Conference of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development on Teaching Excellence and Conference of Administrators (16th, Austin, TX, May 22-25, 1994).