Cognitive psychology and problem solving in the physical sciences

David Sands, Tina Overton


This paper provides and introduction to the literature on cognitive psychology and problem solving in physical sciences. We consider the working memory and its three different components, two of which hold and record information and are controlled by an executive that controls attention. Working memory alone cannot explain problem solving ability and we review the influence of schemata, the construction of mental models, visual reasoning and the cognitive style of field dependence.

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New Directions in the Teaching of Physical Sciences

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