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The effect of authority on the persuasiveness of mathematical arguments

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journal contribution
posted on 05.07.2011 by Matthew Inglis, Juan P. Mejia-Ramos
Three experiments are reported which investigate the extent to which an authority figure influences the level of persuasion undergraduate students and research-active mathematicians invest in mathematical arguments. We demonstrate that, in some situations, both students and researchers rate arguments as being more persuasive when they are associated with an expert mathematician than when the author is anonymous. We develop a model which accounts for these data by suggesting that, for both students and researchers, an authority figure only plays a role when there is already some uncertainty about the argument’s mathematical status. Implications for pedagogy, and for future research, are discussed.
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School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Citation

INGLIS, M. and MEJIA-RAMOS, J.P. 2009. The effect of authority on the persuasiveness of mathematical arguments. Cognition and Instruction, 27 (1), pp. 25-50.

Publisher

Routledge (© Taylor and Francis)

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date

2009

Notes

This is an electronic version of an article published in the journal, Cognition and Instruction [© Taylor and Francis]. The definitive version is available online at: www.tandfonline.com

ISSN

0737-0008;1532-690X

Language

en

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