Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Ditrichs, Raymond

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Word problems (Mathematics); Mathematics--Study and teaching; Mathematics--Study and teaching--Psychological aspects


The current study proposed an extension to the 1985 Kintsch and Greeno model of mathematical word problem solving. The current extension took concepts expressed in the Kintsch and Greeno model and extended these concepts to multiplication and division. The main concepts used in the present study were sets and relations among sets. This study tried to explain how people read problems, translate the text into mathematical ideas, and obtain a solution to the problem. Reading times were used to get an indication of processing, and subjects had to state which operation would be used to solve the problem and give an estimate as to the size of the answer to the problem. The current study also tested some simple approaches that people may use to solve word problems, mainly multiplication makes bigger/ division makes smaller, nonconservation of operations, and the absorption effect. The data collected support the current extension to the Kintsch and Greeno model. The data also supported the idea of multiplication makes bigger/ division makes smaller but refuted the idea of nonconservation of operations.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [67]-68)


98 pages




Northern Illinois University

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