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Problem length as a structural variable in verbal arithmetic problems

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Abstract

Of five structural variables that in previous studies accounted for a significant amount of the observed variance in the error rate in verbal arthmetic problems, the length variable (number of words in the problem statement) apparently was more important in the upper grades than in the lower grades. In this study three forms of a verbal problem set in which the number of words in the problem statements were systematically varied were administered to classes of students in Grades 4–9. Using regression analysis, the investigator found that although the length variable did not measure a significant amount of variance between two of the forms, with the third it did.

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Bibliography

  1. Golub, L. and Fredrick, W.: 1971, ‘Linguistic Structures in the Discourse of Fourth and Sixth Graders’, Technical Report no. 166, Wisconsin Research and Development Center for Cognitive Learning, The University of Wisconsin.

  2. Jerman, M.: 1972, ‘Structural Variables in Verbal Arithmetic Problems’,The Journal for Research in Mathematics Eduction, in press.

  3. Jerman, M. and Rees, R.: 1972, ‘Predicting the Relative Difficulty of Verbal Arithmetic Problems’,Educational Studies in Mathematics 4, 306.

  4. Loftus, E.: 1969, ‘An Analysis of the Structural Variables that Determine Problem-Solving Difficulty on a Computer-Based Teletype’, Technical Report No. 141, Institute for Mathematical Studies in The Social Sciences, Stanford University.

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Additional information

This study was begun while the author was a staff member of the Institute for Mathematical Studies in the Social Sciences at Stanford University. The research was partially supported by National Science Foundation grant G18709.

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Jerman, M. Problem length as a structural variable in verbal arithmetic problems. Educ Stud Math 5, 109–123 (1974). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00684692

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Keywords

  • Regression Analysis
  • Error Rate
  • Structural Variable
  • Lower Grade
  • Problem Statement