Magnitude Representation in Children

Its Development and Dysfunction

Authored by: Marie-Pascale Noël , Laurence Rousselle , Christophe Mussolin

Handbook of Mathematical Cognition

Print publication date:  December  2004
Online publication date:  August  2005

Print ISBN: 9781841694115
eBook ISBN: 9780203998045
Adobe ISBN: 9781135423667


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The semantics of a given number is rich. For instance, the semantics of nine could include information such as “is larger than eight,” “is close to ten,” “is the square of three,” “is an odd number,” and “is the age of my elder son.” Among these, the magnitude is extremely important. Miller and Gelman (1983) showed that when kindergartners and third graders are presented with triads of single digits and asked to select the two that are the more closely related to one another and the two that are the least, they base their judgments on magnitude information only. Later on, in sixth grade, magnitude is still the more used dimension, although other dimensions such as parity are used, also.

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