Achievement in arithmetic word problems in adults: the role of working memory

Demirel, Fatma
Arithmetic word problems include various scenarios, some of them corresponding to real life situations. It is expected from the human problem solver to devise methods to solve those problems. Solving an arithmetic word problem requires using arithmetic abilities, reading comprehension, and spatial, verbal and numeric abilities that are related to Working Memory capacities. In particular, verbal and spatial working memories are assumed to be employed during the course of arithmetic word problem solving. Arithmetic word problem texts also exhibit different characteristics than plain texts. Therefore, the investigation of arithmetic word problem solving goes beyond reading comprehension. The study includes two phases; (i) to investigate the relationship between the putative Working Memory components and arithmetic word problem solving characteristics, and (ii) to investigate the differences between standard written language through a corpus and arithmetic problem texts. Our analyses revealed that there was a statistically significant relation between the digit span task scores and the accuracy of solutions. The study also showed that arithmetic word problem texts are different than plain texts in terms of their syntactic categories.  


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Citation Formats
F. Demirel, “Achievement in arithmetic word problems in adults: the role of working memory,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2016.