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Alternative TitleExbloring the Mechanism of Understanding Stock-Flow Problems





Other Abstract

Stock-flow problems refer to the understanding how the quantity of things in a given system changes due to inflow and outflow fluctuations. Studies have shown that even people with high education have obstacles in understanding stock-flow problems. People often confuse the maximum inflow/net inflow with the maximum stock, or confuse the minimum outflow/net outflow with the minimum stock, a phenomena termed correlation heuristic error.

This research explored the mechanism of understanding stock-flow problems from two perspectives. Experiment 1-3 investigated if stock-flow inference can be enhanced in some specific domain by providing certain context information. Experiment 1 examined whether adding cheating-related contents can promote the comprehension of stock-flow problems using a graphic presentation. Results showed that adding cheating-related contents only enhanced the understanding of the maximum stock problem in one of all three tasks. Experiment 2 presented stock-flow problems through tabular representation, but no effect of cheating was found. Experiment 3 investigated whether adding danger-related contexts can aid the understanding of stock-flow problems in a graphic presentation, but there was no effect of danger. By following the perspective that providing a visual presentation investigated whether providing salient visual cues can have a positive effect. Experiment 4 tests if highlighting the areas between the inflow and outflow curves can be helpful and results showed this method was effective. Experiment 5 explored whether the findings of experiment 4 could be generalized to other contexts, and the results indicated this approach had universal effects in solving maximum stock problems across three different tasks, and also increased the understanding of minimum stock problem in a finance task. Experiment 6 tested whether providing plus-minus signs in tables, another kind of visual cues to enhance the net inflow/outflow difference, could improve the understanding of stock-flow problems. Results indicated this method failed to increase the accuracy of stock-flow problems.

The research investigated whether adding some domain-specific contents and providing salient visual cues could facilitate one's comprehension of stock-flow problems. First, we found adding cheating-related contents and danger-related contents failed to promote understanding stock-flow problems. For the former, induced anger by cheating may result in more heuristic processing and errors; for the latter, inconsistent comprehension of danger may weaken the danger promotion effect. Secondly, we proved highlighting the areas between flow curves was an effective approach to promoting understanding stock-flow problems, which indicated the areas are the crucial parts for understanding stock-flow problems. In application, our findings can offer some basic references for enhancing public's comprehension of stock-flow problems.

Keyword存储流动问题 领域特异性 视觉凸显
Degree Name理学硕士
Degree Discipline应用心理学
Degree Grantor中国科学院大学
Place of Conferral中国科学院心理研究所
Document Type学位论文
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
乔韩. 存储流动问题的理解机制探究[D]. 中国科学院心理研究所. 中国科学院大学,2019.
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