The processing of analogous problems in the verbal and visual-humorous (cartoons) modalities by gifted/average children

Rama Klavir, Malka Gorodetsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Children encounter problem solving in their formal schooling mainly in the verbal modality, whereas they are exposed to cartoons in their leisure time in a context perceived as nonlearning and nonthreatening. Yet, cartoons can be conceived of as problems in the visual-humorous modality, analogous to verbal problems. This article examines how gifted and average children solve analogous problems in these two modalities (verbal and visual-humorous), including their ability to consciously transfer solutions from one modality to the other. Specifically, four variables are considered: (1) the correctness of solutions of analogous problems in both modalities; (2) the students' perceived difficulty of these problems; (3) their awareness of the correctness of their solutions; and (4) their awareness of the contribution of a learned source problem in one modality to the solution of an analogous target problem in the other. Gifted children, as expected, did better on the verbal problems, but improved their skills in both modalities once exposed to the solution of analogous problems in the visual-humorous modality. Average children tended to solve cartoons better than verbal problems, but working with cartoons increased their verbal problem-solving skills. Results suggest that cartoon solving in the classroom can enhance the problem-solving capabilities of both populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-214
Number of pages10
JournalGifted Child Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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