Intuitive reasoning about abstract and familiar physics problems
Previous research has demonstrated that many people have misconceptions about basic properties of motion. In two experiments, we examined whether people are more likely to produce dynamically correct predictions about basic motion problems involving situations with which they are familiar, and whether solving such problems enhances performance on a subsequent abstract problem. In Experiment 1, college students were asked to predict the trajectories of objects exiting a curved tube. Subjects were more accurate on the familiar version of the problem, and there was no evidence of transfer to the abstract problem. In Experiment 2, two familiar problems were provided in an attempt to enhance subjects' tendency to extract the general structure of the problems. Once again, they gave more correct responses to the familiar problems but failed to generalize to the abstract problem. Formal physics training was associated with correct predictions for the abstract problem but was unrelated to performance on the familiar problems.
- Evans, J. St. B. T. (1982).The psychology of deductive reasoning London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
- Gentner, D. (1982). Are scientific analogies metaphors? In D. S Miall (Ed.),Metaphor: Problems and perspectives (pp. 106–132) Brighton. Sussex, England: Harvester Press.
- Gentner, D., &Gentner, D. R. (1983). Flowing waters or teeming crowds: Mental models of electricity. In D. Gentner & A. Steven (Eds.),Mental models (pp. 99–130). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
- Holyoak, K. J. (1984). Analogical thinking and human intelligence In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.),Advances in the psychology of human intelligence (Vol. 2, pp. 199–230). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum
- Johnson-Laird, P. N., Legrenzi, P., &Legrenzi, M. S. (1972) Reasoning and a sense of reality.British Journal of Psychology,63. 395–400.
- Mccloskey, M. (1983) Intuitive physics.Scientific American,248(4), 122–130. CrossRef
- Mccloskey, M., Caramazza, A., &Green, B. (1980). Curvilinear motion in the absence of external forces Naive beliefs about the motion of objects.Science,210, 1139–1141. CrossRef
- Reiter, R. (1980) A logic for default reasoning.Artificial Intelligence,13, 81–132. CrossRef
- Siegler, R. (1981). Developmental sequences within and between concepts.Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development,46(2).
- Wason, P. C. (1966). Reasoning. In B. M. Foss (Ed.),New horizons in psychology I (pp. 135–151). Harmondswoth, England: Penguin.
- Wilkins, M. C. (1928). The effect of changed material on the ability to do formal syllogistic reasoning.Archives of Psychology (NewYork) No. 102.
- Intuitive reasoning about abstract and familiar physics problems
Memory & Cognition
Volume 14, Issue 4 , pp 308-312
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links
- Industry Sectors