Problem-solving strategies in reflective and impulsive children

James D. McKinney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


87 reflective and 86 impulsive 7-, 9-, and 11-yr-old children (determined by Matching Familiar Figures Test scores) were given a series of 5 problem-solving tasks in which they were required to determine the correct solution from a number of equiprobable solutions by gathering information that eliminated incorrect alternatives. Results indicate that the relative impact of cognitive style on problem solving varied with developmental level and the type of problem that was solved. Cognitive style had the greatest impact on the performance and strategy behavior of 7- and 11-yr-olds. No significant differences were found between reflective and impulsive 9-yr-olds on any measure. Nevertheless, when cognitive style was a significant contributor to performance, reflective children processed task information more efficiently than impulsive children and used more systematic and/or developmentally mature strategies. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)807-820
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1975


  • cognitive style & developmental level & type of problem, strategies used in solving problems with equiprobable solutions, reflective vs impulsive 7 & 9 & 11 yr olds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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