Linear numerical-magnitude representations aid children's memory for numbers.

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Abstract or Description

We investigated the relation between children's numerical-magnitude representations and their memory for numbers. Results of three experiments indicated that the more linear children's magnitude representations were, the more closely their memory of the numbers approximated the numbers presented. This relation was present for preschoolers and second graders, for children from low-income and middle-income backgrounds, for the ranges 0 through 20 and 0 through 1,000, and for four different tasks (categorization and number-line, measurement, and numerosity estimation) measuring numerical-magnitude representations. Other types of numerical knowledge-numeral identification and counting-were unrelated to recall of the same numerical information. The results also indicated that children's representations vary from trial to trial with the numbers they need to represent and remember and that general strategy-choice mechanisms may operate in selection of numerical representations, as in other domains.




Published In

Psychological science, 21, 9, 1274-1281.