ERIC Number: EJ1025421
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
The Idea of an Exact Number: Children's Understanding of Cardinality and Equinumerosity
Sarnecka, Barbara W.; Wright, Charles E.
Cognitive Science, v37 n8 p1493-1506 Nov-Dec 2013
Understanding what numbers are means knowing several things. It means knowing how counting relates to numbers (called "the cardinal principle" or "cardinality"); it means knowing that each number is generated by adding one to the previous number (called "the successor function' or "succession"), and it means knowing that all and only sets whose members can be placed in one-to-one correspondence have the same number of items (called "exact equality" or "equinumerosity"). A previous study (Sarnecka & Carey, 2008) linked children's understanding of cardinality to their understanding of succession for the numbers five and six. This study investigates the link between cardinality and equinumerosity for these numbers, finding that children either understand both cardinality and equinumerosity or they understand neither. This suggests that cardinality and equinumerosity (along with succession) are interrelated facets of the concepts" five" and "six", the acquisition of which is an important conceptual achievement of early childhood.
Descriptors: Cognitive Science, Concept Formation, Mathematical Concepts, Young Children, Numbers, Numeracy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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