Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of student-generated and solved verbal problems on problem-solving abilities. The investigation also included a replication of part of a study by Janet H. Caldwell involving abstract-concrete and factual -hypothetical factors in verbal problem-solving. Subjects for this study were eighty-four high school students who were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: instruction-practice, practice-only, and control. Differences within groups and between groups were examined with regard to the factors abstract-concrete and factual-hypothetical. To more closely take into account the processes the subjects used in the solution of the verbal problems a ranking scale was used to weight the test scores. Results indicated that significant gains in problem-solving success were made by the practice-only group and the control group, although all subjects showed improvement. Also, all subjects solved significantly more concrete than abstract verbal problems on both pretest and post test measures. For all subjects there were significant differences at the .05 level between the number of concrete-hypothetical and concrete-factual verbal problems solved on the pretest measure. This study supported some of Caldwell's findings. Subjects solved significantly more concrete than abstract verbal problems which supported Caldwell's results. The pretest results supported Caldwell's findings that subjects solved more factual than hypothetical verbal problems. Finally, the replication supported Caldwell's results that testing order had no effect upon overall problem-solving success.


Jeffrey Barnett

Date of Award

Spring 1984

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1984 Mary Louise Snyder


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