Document Detail

Can young infants add and subtract?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11194253     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Three experiments (N = 68), using Wynn's procedure, tested 5-month-old infants' looking time reactions to correct and incorrect results of simple addition and subtraction transformations. The aim was to investigate both the robustness and the parameters of infants' arithmetic competence. Experiments 1 and 2 (N = 44) were replications of Wynn's first two experiments in which infants were shown addition (1 + 1 = 1 or 2) and subtraction (2 - 1 = 1 or 2) requiring imprecise calculation. Experiment 3 (N = 24) was a subtraction counterpart (3 - 1 = 1 or 2) to Wynn's third experiment requiring precise calculation of addition (1 + 1 = 2 or 3). Unlike Wynn, we found no systematic evidence of either imprecise or precise adding and subtracting in young infants. Our results, together with the mix of both positive and negative findings from other studies of infant arithmetic, suggest that infants' reactions to displays of adding and subtracting are variable and, therefore, that infants' numerical competencies are not robust. This conclusion is consistent with previous findings indicating that simple adding and subtracting develops gradually and continuously throughout infancy and early childhood.
A Wakeley; S Rivera; J Langer
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Child development     Volume:  71     ISSN:  0009-3920     ISO Abbreviation:  Child Dev     Publication Date:    2000 Nov-Dec
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-01-19     Completed Date:  2001-04-05     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372725     Medline TA:  Child Dev     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1525-34     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Education, University of California, Berkeley 94720-1690, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Child Psychology*
Problem Solving*
Reaction Time
Comment In:
Child Dev. 2000 Nov-Dec;71(6):1535-6; discussion 1537-9   [PMID:  11194254 ]

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