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ERIC Number: EJ1010511
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0144-3410
Children's Mental Representation When Comparing Fractions with Common Numerators
Liu, Chunhui; Xin, Ziqiang; Lin, Chongde; Thompson, Clarissa A.
Educational Psychology, v33 n2 p175-191 2013
Researchers debate whether one represents the magnitude of a fraction according to its real numerical value or just the discrete numerosity of its numerator or denominator. The present study examined three effects based on the notion that people possess a mental number line to explore how children represent fractions when they compare fractions with common numerators. Specifically, the effect of the spatial numerical association of response codes (SNARC), the distance effect and the size effect in representing fractions were examined in a sample of 72 sixth graders, who successfully solved the fraction comparison task with a real number (0.2) or a fraction (1/5) as the reference. Results showed that in the fraction-reference group (1/5 as the reference), there was a significant reverse SNARC effect and a distance effect between the denominators of the target fractions and the reference fraction; in the real number-reference group, the three effects were also observed. These results revealed that both groups used the mental number line to represent fractions and did not represent their real numerical values but rather the discrete numerosities of denominators when comparing fractions with common numerators. It seems that the way people represent fractions may depend on their strategy choices. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China