Not all numbers are equal: Preferences and biases among children and adults when generating random sequences

John Towse, Tobias Loetscher, Peter Brugger

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We investigate the number preferences of children and adults when generating random digit sequences. Previous research has shown convincingly that adults prefer smaller numbers when randomly choosing between responses 1-6. We analyze randomization choices made by both children and adults, considering a range of experimental studies and task configurations. Children - most of whom are between 8 and 11 years - show a preference for relatively large numbers when choosing numbers 1-10. Adults show a preference for small numbers with the same response set. We report a modest association between children's age and numerical bias. However, children also exhibit a small number bias with a smaller response set available, and they show a preference specifically for the numbers 1-3 across many datasets. We argue that number space demonstrates both continuities (numbers 1-3 have a distinct status) and change (a developmentally emerging bias toward the left side of representational space or lower numbers).

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberArticle 19
    Number of pages7
    JournalFrontiers in Psychology
    Volume5
    Issue number19
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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