Are aesthetic judgements purely aesthetic? Testing the social conformity account
journal contributionposted on 2020-04-06, 11:13 authored by Matthew InglisMatthew Inglis, Andrew Aberdein
Many of the methods commonly used to research mathematical practice, such as analyses of historical episodes or individual cases, are particularly well-suited to generating causal hypotheses, but less well-suited to testing causal hypotheses. In this paper we reflect on the contribution that the so-called hypothetico-deductive method, with a particular focus on experimental studies, can make to our understanding of mathematical practice. By way of illustration, we report an experiment that investigated how mathematicians attribute aesthetic properties to mathematical proofs. We demonstrate that perceptions of the aesthetic properties of mathematical proofs are, in some cases at least, subject to social influence. Specifically, we show that mathematicians’ aesthetic judgements tend to conform to the judgements made by others. Pedagogical implications are discussed.
- Mathematics Education Centre
Pages1127 - 1136
- VoR (Version of Record)
Rights holder© The Authors
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