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2010 Summer Meeting

2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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GH01:

Investigating Patterns in Response Times to Graph Questions
  Location: SS Ballroom ABC
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.3
  Time: 1:00 PM -1:10 PM
  Author: Andrew Heckler, Ohio State University
6149408003, heckler.6@osu.edu
  Co-Author(s): Thomas M. Scaife
  Abstract: We investigate patterns in response times as well as response choices to simple multiple-choice questions. In a series of experiments involving questions on graphs in which participants must compare the slopes of two points, we not only found (as expected) that many students consistently answered incorrectly, namely comparing heights rather than the slopes, but we also found that these students responded more rapidly than those answering correctly. Furthermore, by imposing a delay in responding of a few seconds, we found a reduction in incorrect responses, suggesting that many students were capable of answering correctly, but instead they tended to answer quickly. Repetitive training increases accuracy, and this may in part be due to a decrease in processing time of the relevant dimension, i.e. slope. However, providing students with an explicit rule also increases accuracy, but does not appear to change the time to process the correct response.
  Footnotes: None
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