ERIC Number: ED260902
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Apr
The Structure of Mathematical Abilities: The View from Factor Analysis.
DeGuire, Linda J.
This study attempted to clarify the structure of mathematical abilities through reanalysis of 48 factor-analytic studies. The factors were compared in six families: General, Numerical, Reasoning, Spatial, Verbal, and Mathematical. Eleven data sets were reanalyzed, with principal factor analysis followed by graphical rotation to oblique, simple structure. Higher-order analyses followed the same procedure; the entire structure was then orthogonalized and the results compared to each other and to the original results. A partial hierarchical structure of mathematical abilities appeared. Overall, reasoning abilities were closely associated with mathematics achievement, while numerical and spatial abilities were associated with only certain aspects of mathematics achievement and verbal abilities were only minimally associated. Evidence was found for a kind of mathematical factor. Among the findings of the reanalyses was that fluid- and crystallized-intelligence abilities were closely associated with mathematics achievement. The variance for each factor was ascertained; collectively, the factors in the reanalyses accounted for about 50% of the variance, most of which represented the relationship of mathematical abilities to general cognitive abilities. Appended is the pool of selected studies and a chart of families of factors. (MNS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A