**ERIC Number:**EJ1159323

**Record Type:**Journal

**Publication Date:**2017-Nov

**Pages:**36

**Abstractor:**As Provided

**ISBN:**N/A

**ISSN:**ISSN-0364-0213

**EISSN:**N/A

Relational Priming Based on a Multiplicative Schema for Whole Numbers and Fractions

DeWolf, Melissa; Son, Ji Y.; Bassok, Miriam; Holyoak, Keith J.

Cognitive Science, v41 n8 p2053-2088 Nov 2017

Why might it be (at least sometimes) beneficial for adults to process fractions componentially? Recent research has shown that college-educated adults can capitalize on the bipartite structure of the fraction notation, performing more successfully with fractions than with decimals in relational tasks, notably analogical reasoning. This study examined patterns of relational priming for problems with fractions in a task that required arithmetic computations. College students were asked to judge whether or not multiplication equations involving fractions were correct. Some equations served as structurally inverse primes for the equation that immediately followed it (e.g., 4 × 3/4 = 3 followed by 3 × 8/6 = 4). Students with relatively high math ability showed relational priming (speeded solution times to the second of two successive relationally related fraction equations) both with and without high perceptual similarity (Experiment 2). Students with relatively low math ability also showed priming, but only when the structurally inverse equation pairs were supported by high perceptual similarity between numbers (e.g., 4 × 3/4 = 3 followed by 3 × 4/3 = 4). Several additional experiments established boundary conditions on relational priming with fractions. These findings are interpreted in terms of componential processing of fractions in a relational multiplication context that takes advantage of their inherent connections to a multiplicative schema for whole numbers.

Descriptors: Priming, Multiplication, Number Concepts, Fractions, Arithmetic, Computation, College Students, Equations (Mathematics), Mathematics Skills, Ability, Problem Solving, Experiments, Cognitive Processes, Schemata (Cognition)

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**Publication Type:**Journal Articles; Reports - Research

**Education Level:**Higher Education

**Audience:**N/A

**Language:**English

**Sponsor:**National Science Foundation (NSF)

**Authoring Institution:**N/A

**Grant or Contract Numbers:**DGE1144087