ERIC Number: EJ1049500
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
No Generalization of Practice for Nonzero Simple Addition
Campbell, Jamie I. D.; Beech, Leah C.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v40 n6 p1766-1771 Nov 2014
Several types of converging evidence have suggested recently that skilled adults solve very simple addition problems (e.g., 2 + 1, 4 + 2) using a fast, unconscious counting algorithm. These results stand in opposition to the long-held assumption in the cognitive arithmetic literature that such simple addition problems normally are solved by fact retrieval from declarative memory. Here we tested a large sample of diversely skilled and culturally diverse men and women at the University of Saskatchewan and examined multiple categories of simple (1 digit plus 1 digit) addition problems for evidence of generalization of practice, a signature of procedure use. The procedure-based 0 + N = N problems presented clear evidence of generalization (i.e., practicing a subset of 0 + N problems lead to speed-up for a different subset of 0 + N problems), but there was no evidence of such generalization of practice for the nonzero problems, although the experiment had good power to detect small effects. Given that generalization of practice is a basic marker of procedure-based processing, its absence for the nonzero addition problems casts doubt on the compacted counting theory.
Descriptors: Adults, Addition, Mathematics, Generalization, Problem Solving, Foreign Countries, College Students, Visual Stimuli, Arithmetic, Error Patterns
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada