Certain types of thinking are best suited to certain types of problem-solving

Nov 12, 2008

A new study in the journal Mind, Brain, and Education reveals that certain types of thinking are best suited to solving certain types of problems. Specifically, geometry problems are best solved by a combination of verbal and spatial strategies, but not shape-based imagery strategies.

Researchers investigated whether middle school students solved geometry problems more successfully than their peers when they were provided with clues consistent with their own style of thinking. The cognitive styles that were identified and the related clues were verbal, spatial, and shape-based. They found that regardless of the type of clue provided, spatial and verbal thinking styles were useful for solving the geometry problems, while shape-based thinking was much less effective.

The study shows that geometry problems are solved most successfully through certain styles of thinking.

"Our research may have an impact on the teaching of geometry, and perhaps mathematics in general," the authors conclude. "Specifically, teaching students how to think spatially and manipulate and hold in mind images may improve their performance in geometry class. Thus, it is important for students to consider other thinking styles than approaches usually taught in most introductory geometry classes in the U.S."

Source: Wiley

Explore further: How sleep helps us learn and memorize

Related Stories

Topology looks for the patterns inside big data

May 18, 2015

Big data gets much attention from media, industry and government. Companies and labs generate massive amounts of data associated with everything from weather to cell phone usage to medical records, and each data set may involve hundreds of variables. ...

Designing better medical implants

May 18, 2015

Biomedical devices that can be implanted in the body for drug delivery, tissue engineering, or sensing can help improve treatment for many diseases. However, such devices are often susceptible to attack by ...

What shape is the universe?

May 12, 2015

The universe. It's the only home we've ever known. Thanks to its intrinsic physical laws, the known constants of nature, and the heavy-metal-spewing fireballs known as supernovae we are little tiny beings ...

Controlling the internal structure of mitochondria

May 05, 2015

(Phys.org)—One might think of mitochondria as devices for transporting electrons to their lowest energy state. Little bags of finely-tuned respiratory chain subunits which combine electrons extracted from ...

Device extracts rare tumor cells using sound

Apr 06, 2015

A simple blood test may one day replace invasive biopsies thanks to a new device that uses sound waves to separate blood-borne cancer cells from white blood cells.

Recommended for you

How sleep helps us learn and memorize

2 hours ago

Sleep is important for long lasting memories, particularly during this exam season. Research publishing in PLOS Computational Biology suggests that sleeping triggers the synapses in our brain to both streng ...

Hacking the nervous system

10 hours ago

When Maria Vrind, a former gymnast from Volendam in the Netherlands, found that the only way she could put her socks on in the morning was to lie on her back with her feet in the air, she had to accept that ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.