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ERIC Number: ED086533
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1973
Pages: 217
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Effect of General Versus Specific Heuristics in Mathematical Problem-Solving Tasks.
Smith, James Philip
This study investigated differences in problem-solving performance following instruction varying in the type of heuristic advice given. The subjects, 176 college students with two years of high school mathematics experience, were provided programed instruction over a three-week period in three topic areas: finite geometry, Boolean algebra, and symbolic logic. One treatment group received task-specific heuristic advice and the second received general heuristic advice. Three learning tests covering the topic material and two transfer tests were administered the fourth week. Information concening the subjects' problem-solving methods was gathered through interviews and questionnaires. The study employed a 2 x 3 x 3 factorial design with factors (instruction, topic order presentation, and test order presentation). Data were analyzed by a three-way analysis of variance. The task-specific group solved significantly more logic problems (p less than .001) and completed the Boolean algebra ad logic tests significantly faster (p less than .05, p less than .01, respectively) than the general heuristic group. There were no differences for the transfer test nor main effects for order, and no interactions. Interview and questionnaire results indicated that nearly two-thirds of the subjects used the heuristics taught for the learning tests but few did for the transfer problems. (Author/JP)
University Microfilms, 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106 (Order No. 73-26,637, Microfilm-$4.00, Xerography-$10.00)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A