Garrett, Roger M (1984) Selected cognitive styles and aspects of their relationship to problem-solving: an empirical study using problems in physics. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

The aim of the investigation was to explore relationships that might exist between problem-solving activities and a selection of cognitive styles in the context of 'A' Level Physics.
A preliminary discussion of the nature of cognitive styles and a distinction between problems and puzzles provided a theoretical foundation for the design of the investigation and a rationale for the development of appropriate measures of the various features involved, in particular originality and creativity.
Four practical physics tasks were selected and developed for the investigation; two puzzles and two problems. The Standard Tests selected were the Group Embedded Figures Test (EFT) for Field Inde­pendence/Dependence, the Matching Familiar Figures Test (MFF) for Impulsivity/Reflectivity, the Pettigrew Category-Width Test (C-W) and the AH6 (SEM) test for High-Level Intelligence.
The sample of 141, first-year sixth-form students all studying 'A' Level Physics was taken from eight comprehensve schools. The EFT, C-W scale and the I.Q. tests were all administered as group tests. Each student was given the MFF test alone before being asked to work on their own at the four practical tasks. Students were randomly assigned to the control or experimental treatment which involved different regimes of task presentation, being either
neutral or encouraging. All verbal interactions were taped and transcribed as protocols from which the problem encountering tactics were extracted later. Direct observations of manipulations provided further data.
Null hypotheses were generated that assumed that no relationships existed between the various independent variables of style and I.Q. between the dependent variables of solving activity, or between dependent and independent variables, irrespective of the nature of the task or experimental conditions.
As a result the experimental conditions were found to improve puzzle•solving and creativity. A number of significant relation­ships were revealed, the most notable among them being an indication that Category-Width may be related to the other styles used, and that Impulsivity is related to ori·ginality although not creativity. Verbal ability was revealed as an important factor affecting the production of ideas and hypotheses. There are also indications that solving activity is consistent within a task but not necessarily across tasks. The nature and mode of presentation of tasks was also found to influence solving activities.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: For access to the hard copy thesis, check the University Library catalogue.
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Contributors: Roberts, IF (Thesis advisor)
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2019 16:53
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2019 16:53
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/7192

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