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Thought process, mathematics, cognition, intuitive


Engineering technology students often forgo a methodical approach of solving or answering questions on assignments or exams in favor of an intuition-based approach, emphasizing educated guessing (Broberg et al., 2008). Faculty observations have noted these student solutions often provide explanations, usually sans calculations, to support answers the students believe to be reasonable when in reality deviated from the correct answer. An extensive study was developed to assess several distinctions between student intuition and use of cognition in problem solving, as related to a generalized student population. The study was comprised of a survey and interview. The survey utilized two instruments, the Types of Intuition Scale (TIntS) and the Cognitive-Experiential Self Theory (CEST). The interview element was comprised of questions related to the student’s background and personal experience with math phobia. Data provided by study participants responding to specific questions from the TIntS and CEST instruments allowed researchers to determine how likely students are to use intuition rather than analytical processes. The results of the study found these students prefer to approach problems using logic but tend to rely upon their intuition when problem solving, especially in unfamiliar and high-pressure scenarios. Furthermore, this paper is intended to enlighten educators and other related groups regarding the degree to which intuition is used as a means of solving problems, and the types of intuition generally involved, especially for engineering technology students. Thus, providing practitioners and administrators with a better idea of what these students may provide in response to homework or other problem-solving situations.