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The Use of Problem-Solving Heuristics in the Playing of Games Involving Mathematics

William H. Kraus
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
Vol. 13, No. 3 (May, 1982), pp. 172-182
DOI: 10.2307/748554
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/748554
Page Count: 11
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Use of Problem-Solving Heuristics in the Playing of Games Involving Mathematics
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Abstract

Exploratory studies of the use of problem-solving heuristics in the playing of games involving mathematics were conducted with experienced problem solvers (n=10) and with eighth-grade novice problem solvers (n=20). The problem solvers were asked to think aloud while playing two two-dimensional variations of the game nim, and the sessions were audiotaped. The experienced problem solvers perceived the games as problems and used a variety of problem-solving heuristics. Approximately half of the novice problem solvers perceived the games as problems and made limited use of heuristics. All the novice problem solvers made extensive use of random trial and error. A computer program was developed to simulate the heuristic behavior of the students in both studies.

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