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Title: What can the same-different task tell us about the development of magnitude representations?
Authors: Defever, Emmy ×
Sasanguie, Delphine
Vandewaetere, Mieke
Reynvoet, Bert #
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: North-Holland
Series Title: Acta Psychologica vol:140 issue:1 pages:35-42
Abstract: We examined the development of magnitude representations in children (Exp 1: kindergartners, first-, secondand
sixth graders, Exp 2: kindergartners, first-, second- and third graders) using a numerical same–different task
with symbolic (i.e. digits) and non-symbolic (i.e. arrays of dots) stimuli.Weinvestigated whether judgments in a
same–different task with digits are based upon the numerical value or upon the physical similarity of the digits.
In addition, we investigated whether the numerical distance effect decreases with increasing age. Finally, we
examined whether the performance in this task is related to general mathematics achievement. Our results reveal
that a same–different task with digits is not an appropriate task to studymagnitude representations, because
already late kindergarteners base their responses on the physical similarity instead of the numerical value of the
digits. When decisions cannot be made on the basis of physical similarity, a similar numerical distance effect is
present over all age groups. This suggests that the magnitude representation is stable from late kindergarten
onwards. The size of the numerical distance effect was not related to mathematical achievement. However, children
with a poorer mathematics achievement score seemed to have more difficulties to link a symbol with its
corresponding magnitude.
ISSN: 0001-6918
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Campus Kulak Kortrijk – miscellaneous
Academic Center for General Practice
Laboratory for Experimental Psychology
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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