chapter  2
28 Pages

Intuitive Mathematics: Theoretical and Educational Implications

WithTalia Ben-Zeev & Jon Star

What kinds of intuitions do people have for solving problems in a formal logic system? Studies on intuitive physics have shown that people hold a set of naive beliefs (Chi & Slotta, 1993; diSessa, 1982, 1993; McCloskey, Caramazza, & Green, 1980). For example, McCloskey et al. (1980) found that when people were asked to draw the path of a moving object shot through a curved tube, they believed that the object would move along a curved (instead of a straight) path even in the absence of external forces. Such an Aristotelian conceptualization of motion, although mistaken, may be based in part on forming an analogy to reallife examples, such as the Earth’s circular movement around the sun (one does not see the forces that sustain such a movement).