NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ916929
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0965
Children's Representation of Symbolic and Nonsymbolic Magnitude Examined with the Priming Paradigm
Defever, Emmy; Sasanguie, Delphine; Gebuis, Titia; Reynvoet, Bert
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, v109 n2 p174-186 Jun 2011
How people process and represent magnitude has often been studied using number comparison tasks. From the results of these tasks, a comparison distance effect (CDE) is generated, showing that it is easier to discriminate two numbers that are numerically further apart (e.g., 2 and 8) compared with numerically closer numbers (e.g., 6 and 8). However, it has been suggested that the CDE reflects decisional processes rather than magnitude representation. In this study, therefore, we investigated the development of symbolic and nonsymbolic number processes in kindergartners and first, second, and sixth graders using the priming paradigm. This task has been shown to measure magnitude and not decisional processes. Our findings revealed that a priming distance effect (PDE) is already present in kindergartners and that it remains stable across development. This suggests that formal schooling does not affect magnitude representation. No differences were found between the symbolic and nonsymbolic PDE, indicating that both notations are processed with comparable precision. Finally, a poorer performance on a standardized mathematics test seemed to be associated with a smaller PDE for both notations, possibly suggesting that children with lower mathematics scores have a less precise coding of magnitude. This supports the defective number module hypothesis, which assumes an impairment of number sense. (Contains 5 tables and 2 figures.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 6; Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A