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An Inquiry Into The Spontaneous Transfer of Problem - Solving Skill
Driscoll, Marcy P.
Price, Edward A.
Article from Journal - ilmiah internasional
Contemporary Educational Psychology vol. 22 no. 04 (Oct. 1997)
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Problem solving, by definition, involves achieving new understanding in unfamiliar contexts, and is critical to all aspects of life, especially in the educational and scientific arenas. Students learn from many experiences to develop a repertoire of abilities, including the use of logic, which enable them to spontaneously transfer their problem solving skill to unfamiliar situations. The purpose of this study is to explore the minimum conditions necessary to facilitate the spontaneous transfer of problem solving skill in an unfamiliar context. One hundred and seventy five subjects were presented with logically identical problems based on the Wason selection task, which differed only in the degree to which a familiar schema could be invoked to help solve the problem. In the pretest stage, only 10.5% of subjects could solve the selection problem in an unfamiliar context, whereas 57.3% could solve it in one that was familiar. The effect of three interventions, prior exposure to a familiar scenario, repeat opportunities on like problems, and process-oriented feedback, on selection task performance in an unfamiliar context was assessed in a posttest stage. Overall, none of the interventions were effective, indicating that the minimum threshold for spontaneous transfer may be above the level of intervention included in this study. Schema theory, implications for instruction, and directions for future research are discussed.
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