International Education Journal

Educational Research Conference 2005 Special Issue


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Attending to feeling: Productive benefit to novel mathematics problem-solving 

Carol R. Aldous 
Flinders University


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What does attention to feeling have to do with solving problems in mathematics? Can feeling be used to navigate a path to a solution? What is meant by a feeling anyway? To what kind of problem does this productive benefit refer? A study of 405 middle school students solving two novel mathematics problems found that individuals utilising a feeling or free-flowing approach to reasoning were more likely to be successful in reaching a solution than those who did not. Indeed, feeling cognitions were found to have both a direct and indirect effect on the generation of a solution depending on whether mainly spatial or verbal processing was required. This finding is consistent with neuroscience research. 

Problem solving, feeling cognitions, mathematics, causal model


Aldous, C.R. (2006) Attending to feeling: Productive benefit to novel mathematics problem-solving. International Education Journal, 7 (4), 410-422.

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