Misconception MOM007:

A model can only represent aspects of a phenomenon that are already known; it cannot be used to figure out new things (for example, make an accurate prediction) about what is being represented. This still allows one person to use a model to communicate things he or she already knows about something to other people, even if they do not already know it (Grosslight et al., 1991; Schwartz & White, 2005).

Items that test for misconception MOM007
Item ID
Number

Item Description

How Often the Misconception was Chosen

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MO031002

A student could use a diagram to help himself figure out the way light travels or to show someone else the way light travels.

19%

MO026003

An engineer could use a model of a machine to show someone else what the machine is like, or to help him/herself think about how the machine works.

17%

MO028002

A chemist could use a model to show other people what DNA looks like or to help him/herself think about DNA.

16%

MO038004

It is acceptable and sometimes beneficial for a model to lack features of the real thing that are not relevant to what is being studied.

15%

MO030002

A police investigator could use a model of a car crash to figure out how the crash took place or to show others how it took place.

13%

Items that test for misconception MOM007 in other key ideas

MO070004

A model of an object can be used to predict how an object will behave, but the prediction may not be the same as the actual behavior of the object because a model is never exactly like the object it represents.

41%

MO069004

If a student makes a drawing of how he thinks people see in the dark and it turns out it was incorrect, he should make a new version that more accurately represents what he now knows about how people see in the dark.

15%

MO067003

Even if an engineer makes a good model of an airplane and discovers that it can fly well in the rain, she still cannot be absolutely certain that the real airplane will fly well in the rain unless she actually flies it in the rain.

13%

MO068003

If a student makes a drawing of how he thinks evaporation works and it turns out it was incorrect, he should make a new version that more accurately represents what he now knows about evaporation.

11%