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ERIC Number: EJ1057438
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Strategic Flexibility in Computational Estimation for Chinese- and Canadian-Educated Adults
Xu, Chang; Wells, Emma; LeFevre, Jo-Anne; Imbo, Ineke
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v40 n5 p1481-1497 Sep 2014
The purpose of the present study was to examine factors that influence strategic flexibility in computational estimation for Chinese- and Canadian-educated adults. Strategic flexibility was operationalized as the percentage of trials on which participants chose the problem-based procedure that best balanced proximity to the correct answer with simplification of the required calculation. For example, on 42 × 57, the optimal problem-based solution is 40 × 60 because "2,400" is closer to the exact answer "2,394" than is 40 × 50 or 50 × 60. In Experiment 1 (n = 50), where participants had free choice of estimation procedures, Chinese-educated participants were more likely to choose the optimal problem-based procedure (80% of trials) than Canadian-educated participants (50%). In Experiment 2 (n = 48), participants had to choose 1 of 3 solution procedures. They showed moderate strategic flexibility that was equal across groups (60%). In Experiment 3 (n = 50), participants were given the same 3 procedure choices as in Experiment 2 but different instructions and explicit feedback. When instructed to respond quickly, both groups showed moderate strategic flexibility as in Experiment 2 (60%). When instructed to respond as accurately as possible or to balance speed and accuracy, they showed very high strategic flexibility (greater than 90%). These findings suggest that solvers will show very different levels of strategic flexibility in response to instructions, feedback, and problem characteristics and that these factors interact with individual differences (e.g., arithmetic skills, nationality) to produce variable response patterns.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail: order@apa.org; Web site: http://www.apa.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada