ERIC Number: ED294753
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-May
Reference Count: N/A
The Relation between Problem Categorization and Problem Solving among Novices and Experts.
Hardiman, Pamela Thibodeau; And Others
This investigation examined the relationship between problem solving ability and the criteria used to decide whether two classical mechanics problems could be solved similarly. The investigators began by comparing experts and novices on a similarity judgment task and found that experts predominantly relied on the problems' deep structure in deciding similarity of solution, although the presence of surface feature similarity had a clear adverse effect on performance. Novices relied predominantly on surface features, but were capable of using the problems' deep structure under certain conditions. In a second experiment, groups of novices who tended to employ different types of reasoning in making similarity judgments were compared. Compared to novices who relied predominantly on surface features, novices who made greater use of principles tended to categorize problems similarly to experts, as well as score higher in problem solving. These results suggest that principles play a fundamental role in the organization of conceptual and procedural knowledge for good problem solvers at all levels. (Author/CW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Practitioners
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A