I am writing a paper directed at a physics-education journal and I want to briefly refer to the phenomenon of students “overassociating” (in lack of a better term) mathematical concepts with each other which have similar notations, names or properties, but are not similar in all respects.
For example, the multiplication of real numbers, scalar multiplication and the cross product are all called multiplication and partially share their symbols, because they have similar properties. I am interested in the phenomenon that a student treats, e.g., a scalar multiplication like a normal multiplication where this is not allowed and divides by a vector.
Another example is the misassumption of universal linearity.
As giving the above explanation or something similar would be too much, I am looking for one of the following:
- An established term for such an association going too far, if one exists.
- A general reference from mathematics-education literature about this phenomenon.