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ERIC Number: ED528759
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
Improving Foundational Number Representations through Simple Arithmetical Training
Kallai, Arava Y.; Schunn, Christian D.; Ponting, Andrea L.; Fiez, Julie A.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
The aim of this study was to test a training program intended to fine-tune the mental representations of double-digit numbers, thus increasing the discriminability of such numbers. The authors' assumption was that increased fluency in math could be achieved by improving the analogic representations of numbers. The study was completed in the University of Pittsburgh and was a behavioral as well as imaging lab study. Only the behavioral part is reported here. Forty participants (20 male) completed the experiment in return for $230 base pay plus performance bonuses for a mean total pay of $317. All participants were college students or recent graduates, 18 to 25-years-of-age with English as their first language. Participants were screened to be non-experts in math (math SAT between 600 and 700), and to not have a math-connected discipline as their major. Twenty participants (10 male) were assigned to the experimental group. The remaining participants, each matched in gender and math SAT score to an experimental participant, were assigned to the control group. The results show an advantage of the training program over control training. The selective advantages of the Arithmetic training were widespread and included gains on SAT-like complex math questions, automatic addition, math facts retrieval, and representational change of numbers. This pattern of results suggested that when engaged in a training program that emphasizes fast processing of double-digit numbers, participants enhanced a variety of skills and representations that together comprise the basis for skilled numerical processing. Rather than merely increasing the ability to retrieve math facts from memory, the training program also increased automatic arithmetical proficiency and the precision of representations of double-digit numbers. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)