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ERIC Number: EJ865268
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
A Generalized Fraction: An Entity Smaller than One on the Mental Number Line
Kallai, Arava Y.; Tzelgov, Joseph
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v35 n6 p1845-1864 2009
The representation of fractions in long-term memory (LTM) was investigated by examining the automatic processing of such numbers in a physical comparison task, and their intentional processing in a numerical comparison task. The size congruity effect (SiCE) served as a marker of automatic processing and consequently as an indicator of the access to the primitives of numerical representation in LTM. Mixed pairs composed of a natural number and a fraction showed both a SiCE and a distance effect. The SiCE for mixed pairs was stable across relative sizes of natural numbers compared to the fraction digits (Experiment 4). However, comparing pairs of fractions revealed a strong influence of fractional components: An inverse SiCE was found for pairs of unit fractions (Experiment 1), while no SiCE was found for pairs of non-unit fractions (Experiments 2-3). This leads to the conclusions that: (1) there are no unique representations of distinct fraction values in LTM, and (2) there is a representation of a "generalized fraction" as an "entity smaller than one" that emerges from the notational structure common to all fractions. (Contains 5 footnotes, 1 table and 11 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel