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Szilvia Vincze: Research Into the Components of Mathematical Ability and its Connection With Intelligence

Mathematics systematises, creates axioms, obtains formulae, demonstrates theses, and introduces new concepts. A sharp and flexible-minded person with minimal preliminary knowledge on the topic can get down to its exploration and can be absorbed in problem solving. However, mathematics remains an unknown and unfathomable area for some people during their whole lifetime, while it becomes the „arena” of creating excellent products for others. It is obvious that mathematical talent has several components of differing degrees of importance. These basic abilities are indispensable for anyone to be good at mathematics, but are not sufficient for anyone to become a mathematical talent. This requires the high-level application of creative, deductive and quantitative thinking. The aim of this study is to examine the components of mathematical ability and the analysis of the relation between mathematics and intelligence in the context of particular mathematical sub-skills. The results of a preliminary investigation of this field are presented. The sample consisted 112 subjects, into two age groups (13- and 17-year-olds). The results of the preliminary investigation proved that the qualities relevant regarding mathematical ability are creativity, deductive reasoning and quantitative thinking. The correlation between the Raven intelligence test and mathematical ability proved to be strong, which cannot be considered a tendency-like relationship. As regards sub-skills, the Raven test had a strong correlation with the number series tasks, which assess inductive thinking.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 103. Number 2. 229-261. (2003)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Vincze Szilvia, H–4032 Debrecen, Görgey u. 16., VII/56.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia