ERIC Number: ED108961
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974
Reference Count: 0
Restructuring of Meaningful Information in Problem Solving.
Mayer, Richard E.; Greeno, James G.
In the pair of experiments reported here the authors investigated the relationship between meaningfulness of problem statements and subjects' use of these statements in problem-solving tasks. Subjects (96 university students) were required to memorize meaningful formulae such as "volume = area x height" or corresponding symbolic formulae such as "v = a x h." Formulae were memorized in three sets of three. Some subjects were tested on one formula from each set, while others were tested on an entire three-formula set. In the first experiment subjects were asked to compute values using the formulae, or were asked unanswerable (incomplete or inconsistent) questions about the formulae. In the second experiment subjects were asked to judge computability of a quantity given several others. In both experiments analysis of variance revealed a three-way interaction between meaningfulness, problem type, and grouping. Symbolically stated problems involving more than one formula took much longer when the formulae came from different sets; for meaningful problems no such difference occurred. The authors conclude that subjects reorganize meaningful material for themselves, but use the instructor's organization for symbolic material. (SD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A