TY - JOUR

T1 - The Representation of Fraction Magnitudes and the Whole Number Bias Reconsidered

AU - DeWolf, Melissa

AU - Vosniadou, Styliani

PY - 2015/6/1

Y1 - 2015/6/1

N2 - Two experiments investigated the whole number bias in the representation of fraction magnitudes with adults. A fraction magnitude comparison task was used where half of the comparisons were consistent with whole number ordering and the other half were not. Distance effects were found in Experiment 1 indicating that participants were comparing the magnitude of the whole fraction rather than just the parts. However, accuracy and response time also depended on the comparisons' consistency with whole number ordering. Experiment 2 manipulated the distance between the fraction pairs and showed that the whole number effect was strongest when the distance between the fraction pairs was very small. The results suggest that even skilled adults do not always have direct access to a fraction's magnitude on the number line. When the magnitudes are especially close together, adults may rely on alternative implicit or explicit strategies, such as examining the whole number parts, to evaluate the comparison.

AB - Two experiments investigated the whole number bias in the representation of fraction magnitudes with adults. A fraction magnitude comparison task was used where half of the comparisons were consistent with whole number ordering and the other half were not. Distance effects were found in Experiment 1 indicating that participants were comparing the magnitude of the whole fraction rather than just the parts. However, accuracy and response time also depended on the comparisons' consistency with whole number ordering. Experiment 2 manipulated the distance between the fraction pairs and showed that the whole number effect was strongest when the distance between the fraction pairs was very small. The results suggest that even skilled adults do not always have direct access to a fraction's magnitude on the number line. When the magnitudes are especially close together, adults may rely on alternative implicit or explicit strategies, such as examining the whole number parts, to evaluate the comparison.

KW - Conceptual change

KW - Learning fractions

KW - Mathematical cognition

KW - Mathematics education

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84939891278&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2014.07.002

DO - 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2014.07.002

M3 - Article

SN - 0959-4752

VL - 37

SP - 39

EP - 49

JO - Learning and Instruction

JF - Learning and Instruction

ER -