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Title: On mathematicians' different standards when evaluating elementary proofs
Authors: Inglis, Matthew
Mejia-Ramos, Juan P.
Weber, Keith
Alcock, Lara
Keywords: Conviction
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. © Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Citation: INGLIS, M. ... et al., 2013. On mathematicians' different standards when evaluating elementary proofs. Topics in Cognitive Science, 5 (2), pp. 270 - 282.
Abstract: In this article, we report a study in which 109 research-active mathematicians were asked to judge the validity of a purported proof in undergraduate calculus. Significant results from our study were as follows: (a) there was substantial disagreement among mathematicians regarding whether the argument was a valid proof, (b) applied mathematicians were more likely than pure mathematicians to judge the argument valid, (c) participants who judged the argument invalid were more confident in their judgments than those who judged it valid, and (d) participants who judged the argument valid usually did not change their judgment when presented with a reason raised by other mathematicians for why the proof should be judged invalid. These findings suggest that, contrary to some claims in the literature, there is not a single standard of validity among contemporary mathematicians.
Description: Closed access. This article was published in the journal, Topics in Cognitive Science [John Wiley & Sons, Inc. © Cognitive Science Society, Inc.] and the definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tops.12019
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1111/tops.12019
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/12150
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tops.12019
ISSN: 1756-8757
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Mathematics Education Centre)

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