

Subject:
empirical evidence that doing math strengthens logical skills?
Category: Science > Social Sciences Asked by: bennetthaseltonga List Price: $10.00 
Posted:
17 Sep 2006 21:24 PDT
Expires: 17 Oct 2006 21:24 PDT Question ID: 766210 
Is there any empirical evidence that doing math actually strengthens your logical skills? It's the kind of claim you hear tossed around a lot but I'm wondering if there are studies showing that it's true. Of course I'm not talking about the fact that doing a particular kind of math problem over and over will make you better at solving that particular type of problem. I know that if you do a lot of calculus, you'll get better at calculus. But will it make you better at solving the type of logical/mathematical problem that you've never seen before? A completely rigorous study would be one in which: 1) You have one group of test subjects practice on the kinds of math problems that you think will make them smarter. The control group doesn't engage in any kind of extra practice. 2) At the end of the practice period (which could be an hour, or several weeks, whatever), you give both groups a set of math problems that are completely different from the kind that you gave the test subjects during the practice period, and are also completely different from any type of math problem that you would normally encounter in school. Then you see if the test subjects who did the math practice, score better than the control group. Has a study like that ever actually been done? 

There is no answer at this time. 

Subject:
Re: empirical evidence that doing math strengthens logical skills?
From: vr4riderga on 17 Oct 2006 20:01 PDT 
Practicing math could help you solve various types of logical problems, if, you apply the mathematical theories and concepts that you learn to the problem. Math could also help strengthen your logical skills, by helping you learn how to think in a logical way. For example, if you take two people, and teach one person philosophy and the other person math for one month, and then give each one of them a logic problem, the person that studied philosophy will apply it to the problem, while the other person would look for a mathematical, or logical solution to the problem. The person who studied math, would most likely get the correct answer. Mathematics don't necessarily improve logical skills, but since you are forced to use logic to solve math problems, you will start to unconsciously look for logical solutions to problems. 
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