Title

Do Adults Treat Equivalent Fractions Equally? Adults’ Strategies and Errors During Fraction Reasoning

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2020

Abstract

Understanding fraction magnitudes is important for achievement and in daily life. However, adults' fraction reasoning sometimes appears to reflect whole number bias and other times reflects accurate reasoning. In the current experiments, we examined how contextual factors and individual differences in executive functioning (Experiment 1), knowledge of fraction equivalence (both experiments), and strategy use (Experiment 2) influenced adults' fraction reasoning. Adults were only biased by fraction components when reasoning about fractions as holistic magnitudes was difficult: when estimating under a time constraint, when estimating fractions with large components, or when comparing fractions close in decimal distance. However, adults' knowledge of fraction equivalence moderated the effects of whole number components on their fraction estimation performance: when modeled at low levels of equivalence knowledge, adults were biased by fraction components when estimating. Adults with more knowledge of fraction equivalence were able to reason about fractions as holistic magnitudes through adaptive strategy choices. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

Publication Title

The Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition

Volume

46

Issue

11

First Page

2049

Last Page

2074

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1037/xlm0000839

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Rights Statement

In Copyright