Educational Studies in Mathematics vol:82 issue:2 pages:323-330
This study tested the hypothesis that intuitions about the effect of operations, e.g., “addition makes bigger” and “division makes smaller”, are still present in educated adults, even after years of instruction. To establish the intuitive character, we applied a reaction time methodology, grounded in dual process theories of reasoning. Educated adult participants were asked to judge the correctness of statements about the effect of operations. Their accuracy and reaction times were measured. For items where the correct answer was not in line with the assumed intuitions, more mistakes were observed; moreover, we found longer reaction times for correct responses, indicating that these intuitions interfere in participants’ reasoning on these tasks, even when they provide a correct response.