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Bathtub dynamics revisited: an examination of déformation professionelle in higher education

  • It is assumed that more education leads to better understanding of complex systems. Some researchers, however, find indications that simple mechanisms like stocks and flows are not well understood even by people who have passed higher education. In this paper, we test people’s understanding of complex systems with the widely studied stock-and-flow (SF) tasks. SF tasks assess people’s understanding of the interplay between stocks and flows. We investigate SF failure of domain experts and novices in different knowledge domains. In particular, we compare performance on the original study’s bathtub task with the square wave pattern with two alternative cover stories from the engineering and business domains on different groups of business and engineering students from different semesters. Further, we show that, while engineering students perform better than business students, with progressing in higher education, students may lose the capability of dealing with simple SF tasks. We thus find hints on déformation professionelle in higher education.

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Author of HS ReutlingenKapmeier, Florian
Erschienen in:Systems research and behavioral science
Place of publication:Chichester
Document Type:Journal article
Publication year:2017
Tag:bathtub dynamics; déformation professionelle; stock-flow failure
Page Number:23
First Page:227
Last Page:249
DDC classes:150 Psychologie
Open access?:Nein
Licence (German):License Logo  In Copyright - Urheberrechtlich geschützt