ERIC Number: ED364430
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
The Effects of Cognitive Style and Piagetian Logical Reasoning on Solving a Propositional Relation Algebra Word Problem.
Nasser, Ramzi; Carifio, James
The purpose of this study was to find out whether students perform differently on algebra word problems that have certain key context features and entail proportional reasoning, relative to their level of logical reasoning and their degree of field dependence/independence. Field-independent students tend to restructure and break stimuli into parts and to perceive details more readily than field-dependent students. The underlying theoretical view is that context may be an important factor in how students approach, analyze, and restructure word problems. The sample included university students (n=37) and secondary school students (n=193) from two large high schools in two cities. The Gottschaldt Hidden Figures Test was used to assess field dependence/independence. Selected items from the Equilibrium Balance Test were used to assess Piagetian stages of logical reasoning. A 2 x 3 MANOVA was used to analyze the effects of cognitive style (dependence, independence) and operativity (concrete, transitional, formal). Overall, field-independent subjects who were formal operational reasoners performed highest across all the problem features. The results supported the influence of cognitive style, together with cognitive development, in mediating a student's ability to solve algebra word problems. Contains 34 references and 2 test references. (Author/LDR)
Descriptors: Algebra, Cognitive Development, Cognitive Style, College Mathematics, Context Effect, Developmental Stages, Field Dependence Independence, Formal Operations, High School Students, High Schools, Higher Education, Logical Thinking, Mathematical Applications, Mathematics Instruction, Piagetian Theory, Problem Solving, Secondary School Mathematics, Word Problems (Mathematics)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the North England Educational Research Organization (Portsmouth, NH, 1993).