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Abstract Title: Utility of the Cognitive Reflection Test in research on student reasoning in physics*
Abstract: Research suggests that even after physics instruction designed to address specific difficulties, many students struggle to analyze unfamiliar situations. We hypothesize that some students possess the necessary conceptual understanding, but fail to recognize the applicability of their knowledge due to the strong activation of informal reasoning pathways. In order to disentangle students' conceptual understanding from their reasoning approaches, we have employed a paired-question methodology in which screening and target questions require the application of the same concepts and skills, but yield inconsistent responses. Our findings align with the dual-process theory of cognition, in which learners often respond based on a first reaction or "gut feeling," instead of formal knowledge and skills. In order to probe the robustness of our hypothesis further, we have explored the utility of the Cognitive Reflection Test in gauging the extent to which students' reflection abilities impact their performance in physics.

*This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. DUE-1431857, 1431940, 1432052, 1245999, 1245993 and 1245313.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Nathaniel Grosz
North Dakota State University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Cody Gette
Mila Kryjevskaia
North Dakota State University

Andrew Boudreaux
Western Washington University

MacKenzie R. Stetzer
University of Maine