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ERIC Number: EJ916373
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
An Association between Understanding Cardinality and Analog Magnitude Representations in Preschoolers
Wagner, Jennifer B.; Johnson, Susan C.
Cognition, v119 n1 p10-22 Apr 2011
The preschool years are a time of great advances in children's numerical thinking, most notably as they master verbal counting. The present research assessed the relation between analog magnitude representations and cardinal number knowledge in preschool-aged children to ask two questions: (1) Is there a relationship between acuity in the analog magnitude system and cardinality proficiency? (2) Can evidence of the analog magnitude system be found within mappings of number words children have not successfully mastered? To address the first question, Study 1 asked three- to five-year-old children to discriminate side-by-side dot arrays with varying differences in numerical ratio, as well as to complete an assessment of cardinality. Consistent with the analog magnitude system, children became less accurate at discriminating dot arrays as the ratio between the two numbers approached one. Further, contrary to prior work with preschoolers, a significant correlation was found between cardinal number knowledge and non-symbolic numerical discrimination. Study 2 aimed to look for evidence of the analog magnitude system in mappings to the words in preschoolers' verbal counting list. Based on a modified give-a-number task ([Wynn, 1990] and [Wynn, 1992]), three- to five-year-old children were asked to give quantities between 1 and 10 as many times as possible in order to assess analog magnitude variability within their developing cardinality understanding. In this task, even children who have not yet induced the cardinality principle showed signs of analog representations in their understanding of the verbal count list. Implications for the contribution of analog magnitude representations towards mastery of the verbal count list are discussed in light of the present work. (Contains 12 figures and 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A