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Strategic flexibility in computational estimation for Chinese- and Canadian-educated adults

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Abstract
The purpose of the present study was to examine factors that influence strategic flexibility in computational estimation for Chinese- and Canadian-educated adults. Strategic flexibility was operationalized as the percentage of trials on which participants chose the problem-based procedure that best balanced proximity to the correct answer with simplification of the required calculation. For example, on 42 x 57, the optimal problem-based solution is 40 x 60 because 2400 is closer to the exact answer 2394 than is 40 x 50 or 50 x 60. In Experiment 1 (n = 50), where participants had free choice of estimation procedures, Chinese-educated participants were more likely to choose the optimal problem-based procedure (80% of trials) than Canadian-educated participants (50%). In Experiment 2 (n = 48), participants had to choose one of three solution procedures. They showed moderate strategic flexibility that was equal across groups (60%). In Experiment 3 (n = 50), participants were given the same three procedure choices as in Experiment 2 but different instructions and explicit feedback. When instructed to respond quickly, both groups showed moderate strategic flexibility as in Experiment 2 (60%). When instructed to respond as accurately as possible or to balance speed and accuracy, they showed very high strategic flexibility (greater than 90%). These findings suggest that solvers will show very different levels of strategic flexibility in response to instructions, feedback, and problem characteristics and that these factors interact with individual differences (e.g., arithmetic skills, nationality) to produce variable response patterns.
Keywords
CHOICE/NO-CHOICE METHOD, WORKING-MEMORY, STUDENTS, MATHEMATICS, SELECTION, PERFORMANCE, SUBTRACTION, COMPETENCE, ADAPTIVITY, CHILDREN, strategic flexibility, individual differences, estimation

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MLA
Chang, Xu, Emma Wells, Jo-Anne LeFevre, et al. “Strategic Flexibility in Computational Estimation for Chinese- and Canadian-educated Adults.” JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-LEARNING MEMORY AND COGNITION 40.5 (2014): 1481–1497. Print.
APA
Chang, Xu, Wells, E., LeFevre, J.-A., & Imbo, I. (2014). Strategic flexibility in computational estimation for Chinese- and Canadian-educated adults. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-LEARNING MEMORY AND COGNITION, 40(5), 1481–1497.
Chicago author-date
Chang, Xu, Emma Wells, Jo-Anne LeFevre, and Ineke Imbo. 2014. “Strategic Flexibility in Computational Estimation for Chinese- and Canadian-educated Adults.” Journal of Experimental Psychology-learning Memory and Cognition 40 (5): 1481–1497.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Chang, Xu, Emma Wells, Jo-Anne LeFevre, and Ineke Imbo. 2014. “Strategic Flexibility in Computational Estimation for Chinese- and Canadian-educated Adults.” Journal of Experimental Psychology-learning Memory and Cognition 40 (5): 1481–1497.
Vancouver
1.
Chang X, Wells E, LeFevre J-A, Imbo I. Strategic flexibility in computational estimation for Chinese- and Canadian-educated adults. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-LEARNING MEMORY AND COGNITION. 2014;40(5):1481–97.
IEEE
[1]
X. Chang, E. Wells, J.-A. LeFevre, and I. Imbo, “Strategic flexibility in computational estimation for Chinese- and Canadian-educated adults,” JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-LEARNING MEMORY AND COGNITION, vol. 40, no. 5, pp. 1481–1497, 2014.
@article{4420291,
  abstract     = {The purpose of the present study was to examine factors that influence strategic flexibility in computational estimation for Chinese- and Canadian-educated adults.  Strategic flexibility was operationalized as the percentage of trials on which participants chose the problem-based procedure that best balanced proximity to the correct answer with simplification of the required calculation.  For example, on 42 x 57, the optimal problem-based solution is 40 x 60 because 2400 is closer to the exact answer 2394 than is 40 x 50 or 50 x 60.  In Experiment 1 (n = 50), where participants had free choice of estimation procedures, Chinese-educated participants were more likely to choose the optimal problem-based procedure (80% of trials) than Canadian-educated participants (50%).  In Experiment 2 (n = 48), participants had to choose one of three solution procedures.  They showed moderate strategic flexibility that was equal across groups (60%).  In Experiment 3 (n = 50), participants were given the same three procedure choices as in Experiment 2 but different instructions and explicit feedback.  When instructed to respond quickly, both groups showed moderate strategic flexibility as in Experiment 2 (60%).  When instructed to respond as accurately as possible or to balance speed and accuracy, they showed very high strategic flexibility (greater than 90%).  These findings suggest that solvers will show very different levels of strategic flexibility in response to instructions, feedback, and problem characteristics and that these factors interact with individual differences (e.g., arithmetic skills, nationality) to produce variable response patterns.},
  author       = {Chang, Xu and Wells, Emma and LeFevre, Jo-Anne and Imbo, Ineke},
  issn         = {0278-7393},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-LEARNING MEMORY AND COGNITION},
  keywords     = {CHOICE/NO-CHOICE METHOD,WORKING-MEMORY,STUDENTS,MATHEMATICS,SELECTION,PERFORMANCE,SUBTRACTION,COMPETENCE,ADAPTIVITY,CHILDREN,strategic flexibility,individual differences,estimation},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {1481--1497},
  title        = {Strategic flexibility in computational estimation for Chinese- and Canadian-educated adults},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0037346},
  volume       = {40},
  year         = {2014},
}

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