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ERIC Number: EJ1046010
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 51
ISSN: ISSN-0211-2159
The Intuitive Physics of the Equilibrium of the Lever and of the Hydraulic Pressures: Implications for the Teaching of Elementary Physics
Masin, Sergio Cesare; Crivellaro, Francesco; Varotto, Diego
Psicologica: International Journal of Methodology and Experimental Psychology, v35 n3 p441-461 2014
The research field of intuitive physics focuses on discrepancies between theoretical and intuitive physical knowledge. Consideration of these discrepancies can help in the teaching of elementary physics. However, evidence shows that theoretical and intuitive physical knowledge may also be congruent. Physics teaching could further benefit from understanding the reasons for this congruence. The present study explored these reasons by investigating the intuitive physics of the equilibrium of the lever and of the hydraulic pressures. It was found that the intuitive-physics law of the lever was multiplicative for all participants while the intuitive-physics law of the hydraulic pressures differed among participants. Since these laws are equally simple and the layman probably has had extensive experience with the lever and scarce or no experience with the hydraulic lift, these findings support the general hypothesis that physical laws and corresponding intuitive-physics laws are congruent when people have had experience with the respective phenomena. The results and theoretical considerations suggest two strategic principles for teaching elementary physics.
University of Valencia. Dept. Metodologia, Facultad de Psicologia, Avda. Blasco Ibanez 21, 46010 Valencia, Spain. Tel: +34-96-386-4100; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A