EFFECTS OF CONTEXT, COGNITIVE STYLE AND GENDER ON PROBLEM SOLVING

EFFECTS OF CONTEXT, COGNITIVE STYLE AND GENDER ON PROBLEM SOLVING

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the effects of context, cognitive style and gender on problem solving. Two hundred and forty (120 males and 120 females) SSII and SSIII students of University of Nigeria Secondary School, Enugu Campus (UNEC) were used as participants. Participants age ranged from 14-19 years with means age of 16.5 years. Two sets of materials used were the Oltman, Raskin, Heman and Witkin (1971) Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) used to classify participants into field dependent and field independent cognitive styles and  the puzzle box that was used to measure problem solving. A 2x2x2 factorial design was adopted and a three way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test the hypotheses. Results showed a non significant effect of context on problem solving; there was a significant effect of cognitive style on problem solving. Those with independent cognitive style were better at problem solving than those with dependent style. Result also showed a significant gender effect on problem solving. Male participants performed better than female participants. The only significant interaction effect was that of context x gender. Results were discussed and suggestion for further studies stated.