The Relation between Number Acuity and Mathematical Ability in Young Children Justin W. Bonny Master of Arts Psychology Open Access

Bonny, Justin William (2010)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/bz60cw43z?locale=en
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Abstract

Abstract
The Relation between Number Acuity and Mathematical Ability in Young Children
By Justin W. Bonny
A system of number that detects differences in large quantities has been found to be
active in young infants and adults. Over development, the precision of this number
system increases (Halberda & Feigenson, 2008). Recent research focusing on whether
mathematical reasoning is founded on this system of number representation has produced
conflicting results. This research, however, has focused on how this number system
relates to math understanding broadly rather than whether the relation is to specific
components of math understanding. Additionally, the age ranges used for these studies
focus on children who have already developed some mature number and math systems,
leaving open the question of whether a relation exists in younger children who are still
learning these skills. The current study explored these issues using a task where 3- to 5-
year-olds decided which of two numerical quantities was larger and then completed a
standardized math test. Extending previous research with a younger age range, children
who showed more precision (i.e. acuity) in their discrimination scored higher on the math
test, even when age and verbal comprehension were controlled. An item analysis
revealed that correlations between number acuity and specific components of math
understanding (i.e., arithmetic with physical objects and cardinal understanding) were
driving the association between number acuity and math. These results suggest that for
some math abilities, the approximate number system is activated as children develop
symbolic number and math abilities.


The Relation between Number Acuity and Mathematical Ability in Young Children
By
Justin W. Bonny
B.S.
Advisor: Stella F. Lourenco, Ph.D.
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the
James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies of Emory University
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
in Psychology
2010

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page
Title Page…………………………………………………………………...……………..1
Abstract…………………………………………………………………...…………...…..2
List of Tables…………………………………………………………………...…………3
List of Figures…………………………………………………………………...………...4

Introduction…………………………………………………………………...…………...5
Method…………………………………………………………………...………………17
Results…………………………………………………………………...……………….20
Discussion…………………………………………………………………...…………...24
Tables…………………………………………………………………...………………..33
Figures…………………………………………………………………...……………….36
Appendix…………………………………………………………………...…………….39
References…...……………………………………………………………...……………40

Document Outline
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  • Abstract Cover Page
  • Abstract
  • Cover Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Bonny Masters

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