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ERIC Number: EJ1086999
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jan
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Strategy Use and Strategy Choice in Fraction Magnitude Comparison
Fazio, Lisa K.; DeWolf, Melissa; Siegler, Robert S.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v42 n1 p1-16 Jan 2016
We examined, on a trial-by-trial basis, fraction magnitude comparison strategies of adults with more and less mathematical knowledge. College students with high mathematical proficiency used a large variety of strategies that were well tailored to the characteristics of the problems and that were guaranteed to yield correct performance if executed correctly. Students with less mathematical proficiency sometimes used strategies similar to those of the mathematically proficient students, but often used flawed strategies that yielded inaccurate performance. As predicted by overlapping waves theory, increases in accuracy and speed were related to differences in strategy use, strategy choice, and strategy execution. When asked to choose the best strategy from among 3 possibilities--the strategy the student originally used, a correct alternative, and an incorrect alternative--students with lower fraction knowledge rarely switched from an original incorrect strategy to a correct alternative. This finding suggests that use of poor fraction magnitude comparison strategies stems in large part from lack of conceptual understanding of the requirements of effective strategies, rather than difficulty recalling or generating such strategies.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Pennsylvania
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R324C100004; R305B100001