Inducing mental set constrains procedural flexibility and conceptual understanding in mathematics

  title={Inducing mental set constrains procedural flexibility and conceptual understanding in mathematics},
  author={Marci S DeCaro},
  journal={Memory \& Cognition},
An important goal in mathematics is to flexibly use and apply multiple, efficient procedures to solve problems and to understand why these procedures work. One factor that may limit individuals’ ability to notice and flexibly apply strategies is the mental set induced by the problem context. Undergraduate (N = 41, Experiment 1) and fifth- and sixth-grade students (N = 87, Experiment 2) solved mathematical equivalence problems in one of two set-inducing conditions. Participants in the complex… 
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