Hardiman, Well, & Pollatsek (1984)

Usefulness of a Balance Model in Understanding the Mean
Hardiman, Pamela Thibodeau
Well, Arnold D.
Pollatsek, Alexander

Journal of Educational Psychology 76(5),792-801.

The study tested whether improving students' knowledge of balance rules through experience with a balance beam promotes understanding of the mean. The study consisted of three sessions. In the pretest session, subjects' levels of balance knowledge and abilities to calculate the solutions to a variety of problems dealing with the mean were assessed. Subjects were classified as nonbalancers if they performed at a level below Siegler's (1976) Rule IV and as noncalculators if they were unable to calculate solutions to weighted mean problems. In the second session, half the nonbalancers were given balance training and the other half were asked to solve unrelated control problems. In the transfer session, subjects were given a set of five problems to assess their understanding of the mean. Significant transfer was found: Subjects classified as nonbalancers on the pretest performed significantly better on the transfer problems if they had been given balance training rather than assigned to the control condition.

HardimanWellPollatsek1984.pdf4.42 MB