Do Students Trust in Mathematics or Intuition during Physics Problem Solving? An Epistemic Game Perspective
Ahmet Yavuz 1 *
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1 Nigde University, TURKEY* Corresponding Author


This study aims to investigate (1) students‘ trust in mathematics calculation versus intuition in a physics problem solving and (2) whether this trust is related to achievement in physics in the context of epistemic game theoretical framework. To achieve this research objective, paper-pencil and interview sessions were conducted. A paper-pencil test was administered to 83 freshmen students. In paper-pencil test students were asked to calculate accelerations of four vehicles with different masses doing a drag race and to indicate which vehicle would win the race. Analyses revealed two themes: (1) ―Math does not lie!‖ (for 43% of students) and (2) ―Intuition does not mislead!‖ (for 57% of students). Interview analysis revealed that students‘ trust in mathematics calculation stems from the convincing and realistic nature of calculations and the misleading nature of intuitive knowledge. It was found that students‘ trust in intuitive knowledge stems from their intuitive expectations. The findings also revealed a significant association between students‘ trust in mathematics calculation and their achievement in the general physics course.


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Article Type: Research Article

EURASIA J Math Sci Tech Ed, 2015, Volume 11, Issue 3, 633-646

Publication date: 11 Apr 2015

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