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ERIC Number: EJ1007940
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
Extraneous Perceptual Information Interferes with Children's Acquisition of Mathematical Knowledge
Kaminski, Jennifer A.; Sloutsky, Vladimir M.
Journal of Educational Psychology, v105 n2 p351-363 May 2013
Educational material often includes engaging perceptual information. However, this perceptual information is often extraneous and may compete with the deeper to-be-learned structure, consequently hindering either the learning of relevant structure or its transfer to new situations. This hypothesis was tested in 4 experiments in which 6- to 8-year-old children learned to read simple bar graphs. In some conditions, the bars were monochromatic (i.e., No Extraneous Information), whereas in other conditions, the bars consisted of columns of discrete countable objects (i.e., Extraneous Information). Results demonstrated that the presence of extraneous information substantially attenuated learning; participants tended to count the objects and failed to acquire the appropriate strategy. The interference effects decreased with age. These findings present evidence of how extraneous information affects learning of new mathematical knowledge. Broader implications of these findings for understanding the development of the ability to filter task-irrelevant information and for educational practice are also discussed. (Contains 7 figures.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 2; Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305B070407