id: 06604886
dt: j
an: 2016e.00160
au: Pollack, Courtney; Leon Guerrero, Sibylla; Star, Jon R.
ti: Exploring mental representations for literal symbols using priming and
comparison distance effects.
so: ZDM, Math. Educ. 48, No. 3, 291-303 (2016).
py: 2016
pu: Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg
la: EN
cc: C30 H20 C80
ut: literal symbols; priming; distance effects; mental representations
ci:
li: doi:10.1007/s11858-015-0745-9
ab: Summary: Higher-level mathematics requires a connection between literal
symbols (e.g., ‘$x$’) and their mental representations. The current
study probes the nature of mental representations for literal symbols
using both the priming distance effect, in which ease of comparing a
target number to a fixed standard is a function of prime-target
distance, and the comparison distance effect, in which ease of
comparing two numbers depends on the distance between them. Can literal
symbols that have been assigned magnitude access mental representations
of quantity to produce distance effects? Forty participants completed
number comparison tasks involving Arabic numerals and literal symbols,
a training task, and a working memory task. While both distance effects
were present with Arabic numerals, there was no evidence of either with
literal symbols. Results suggest that literal symbols may not share the
same mental representations of magnitude as other number formats or may
access them differently. Additional research is needed to understand
mental representations utilized in higher-level mathematics (e.g.,
algebra), which includes both Arabic numerals and literal symbols.
rv: