Konold (1989b)

An outbreak of belief in independence?
Konold, C.

In Carolyn A. Maher, Gerald A. Goldin & Robert B. Davis (Eds.),Proceedings of the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (North American Chapter), vol. 2, pp. 203-209, New Brunswick, NJ: The State University of New Jersey.

Results of the most resent administration of NAEP suggest that the majority of secondary students believe in the independence of random events. In the study reported here, a high percentage of high-school and college students answered similar problems correctly. However, about half of the students who appeared to be reasoning normatively on a question concerning the most likely outcome of five flips of a fair coin gave an answer on a follow-up question that was logically inconsistent. It is hypothesized that these students are reasoning according to an "outcome approach" to probability in which they believe they are being asked to predict what will happen. This finding has implications for both test development and curriculum design.

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