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People who think analytically listen and read for complete understanding of relevant ideas. When they encounter a new word they try to estimate its meaning from the context.

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If they are still uncertain, they take out the dictionary and study the various entries, interpreting and contrasting ideas and terms until they are sure of the word's definition. In short, although vocabulary questions do not require problem solving at the time one takes a test, these questions do reflect the precise thinking that people employ in acquiring vocabulary. Summary In this chapter we have looked at the types of test questions that are used to measure reasoning ability, and have seen that errors are primarily caused by a lack of accuracy and thoroughness in thinking.

Research has shown that accuracy and thoroughness are mental habits which can be cultivated through training and exercise. This book provides some of that training. But you need to go further on your own.

Arthur whimbey and jack lochhead problem solving & comprehension (6th…

With everything you read, practice carefulness in comprehending ideas and relationships. And in solving problems, continually check yourself for accuracy and completeness. Initially this may be difficult and require conscious discipline, just as learning good typing habits or correct swimming movements may at first be difficult.

Gradually, however, the attitudes and skills of tight reasoning will become as natural to you as swimming, skating, driving, typing, or any of the various other skills that you have learned with practice and time. Although accuracy and thoroughness are beneficial to every kind of activity in which we engage, you are likely to be more accurate in some areas than in others.

It is a good idea to identify the areas in which you are least accurate and to make special efforts to practice problems in those areas. Errors on the WASI problems 13, 15, 16, 28, 32, 35, 37, 38 suggest a need to practice Verbal Reasoning problems, pages You may also need to develop your English vocabulary, which can be done by increasing the amount of reading you do, and by making sure to look up the words you do not know or of which you are unsure. You might also work through a vocabulary development text such as chapter 34 in Linden and Whimbey a.

Errors on the WASI problems 9, 10, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 34, 36 indicate you need practice on following sequential instructions, problems on pages and chapter 10 on pages Errors on WASI problems 2, 3, 4, 5, 12, 24, 26, 30 indicate you need practice forming Analogies, pages But the most important practice is the practice of being thorough and accurate with any kind of problem. The following Checklist provides an introductory guide to pitfalls the thorough problem solver must be careful to avoid. Some of the items overlap, referring to different aspects of the same fault in working problems, but this overlap is unavoidable because the various factors that underlie problemsolving skill are interrelated.

Read the checklist aloud, discussing any items that are unclear. Then, as you solve problems, be careful not to make these errors. If you recognize some particular error to which you are especially prone, take extra pains to guard against it. Also, when you are listening to another student solve a problem, watch his or her approach for errors of the type listed below. Inaccuracy in Reading 1. Student read the material without concentrating strongly on its meaning. Did not constantly ask "Do I understand that completely? Student read the material too rapidly, at the expense of full comprehension.

Student missed one or more words or misread one or more words because the material was not read carefully enough. Student missed or lost one or more facts or ideas because the material was not read carefully enough. Student did not spend enough time rereading a difficult section to clarify its meaning completely. Inaccuracy in Thinking 6. Student did not constantly place a high premium on accuracydid not place accuracy above all other considerations such as speed or ease of obtaining an answer.

Student was not sufficiently careful in performing some operation such as counting letters or observing some fact such as which of several figures is the tallest. Student was not consistent in the way he interpreted words or performed operations. Student was uncertain about the correctness of some answer or conclusion, but did not check it. Student was uncertain about whether a formula or procedure used to solve the problem was really appropriate, but did not check it. Student worked too rapidly, which produced errors. Student was inaccurate in visualizing a description or a relationship described in the text.

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Student drew a conclusion in the middle of the problem without sufficient thought. Weakness in Problem Analysis: Inactiveness Student did not break a complex problem into parts. Did not begin with a part of the problem that could be handled in order to get a foothold. Did not proceed from one small step to the next small step, being extremely accurate with each one.

Did not clarify thoughts on the parts understood and then work from there. Student did not draw upon prior knowledge and experience in trying to make sense of ideas which were unclear. Student skipped unfamiliar words or phrases, or was satisfied with only a vague understanding of them, rather than trying to obtain a good understanding from the context and the remainder of the material.

Student did not translate an unclear word or phrase into own words. Student did not use the dictionary when necessary.

Student did not actively construct mentally or on paper a representation of ideas described in the text, where such a representation could have helped in understanding the material. Student did not evaluate a solution or interpretation in terms of its reasonableness, i. Lack of Perseverance Took the attitude that reasoning would not work with this problem.

Felt confused by the problem, so didn't start systematically by clarifying the portions of the problem that were readily understandable, and then attempting to work from there. Student chose an answer based on only a superficial consideration of the problemon an impression or feeling about what might be correct. Student made only a superficial attempt to reason the problem, then guessed an answer.

Student solved the problem in a mechanical manner, without very much thought.

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Student reasoned the problem partway through, then gave up and jumped to a conclusion. Failure to Think Aloud The items above apply to all academic problem solving. The last item refers specifically to the procedure used in this course. Student did not vocalize thinking in sufficient detail as he or she worked through the problem. Student performed a numerical computation or drew a conclusion without vocalizing or explaining the steps taken. One partner should read and think aloud, while the other partner listens.

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On subsequent problems, the partners should change roles, taking turns as problem solver and listener. You can also use this procedure if you are not in a class, but are working through the book with another person. Some people find reading and thinking aloud a little awkward at first, but thousands of people have already used this book and have found they adjust to the procedure quickly.

Here is the reason that you are asked to read and think aloud. Thinking is a Hidden Skill The ability to analyze complex material and solve problems is a skilljust like any other skill such as the ability to play golf or the ability to drive an automobile. However, there is a peculiar difficulty involved in teaching analytical skill.

Generally there are two phases to teaching a skill. First, the skill is demonstrated to the student. Then, the student is guided and corrected while practicing. For example, golf is taught by showing the beginner how to grasp the club, how to place the feet, how to move the arms and body as one swings. The beginner can watch a golf procan even watch a slow motion film of the pro in actionand in this way learn the pro's technique. Furthermore, the pro can observe the beginner at practice and point out flaws or demonstrate how to improve.

In contrast to playing golf, analyzing complex material is an activity whcih is generally done inside your head.


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  • Conference on Group Theory, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, 1972; [processing].
  • The Role of the Romanies: Images and Counter Images.
  • Problem solving and comprehension.

This makes it somewhat difficult for a teacher to teach and for a learner to learn. And the expert has trouble demonstrating technique to a beginning student. There is one way to reduce this difficultyhave people think aloud while they solve problems. If both students and experts vocalize their thoughts as they work through complex ideas and relationships, the steps that they take are open to view and their activities can be observed and communicated.

In this book, the procedure of asking people to think aloud while they solve problems is applied in two ways. Experienced problem solvers a group of graduate students and professors were asked to think aloud as they solved the problems that are presented in the book.