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Better elementary number processing in higher skill arithmetic problem solvers : evidence from the encoding step
Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
This paper addresses the relationship between basic numerical processes and higher level numerical abilities in normal achieving adults. In the first experiment we inferred the elementary numerical abilities of university students from the time they needed to encode numerical information involved in complex additions and subtractions. We interpreted the shorter encoding times in good arithmetic problem solvers as revealing clearer or more accessible representations of numbers. The second experiment shows that these results cannot be due to the fact that lower skilled individuals experience more maths anxiety or put more cognitive efforts into calculations than do higher skilled individuals. Moreover, the third experiment involving non-numerical information supports the hypothesis that these interindividual differences are specific to number processing. The possible causal relationships between basic and higher level numerical abilities are discussed.
Analysis of Variance, Cognition, Female, Humans, Male, Mathematics, Neuropsychological Tests, Problem solving, Reaction Time, Students, Universities
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