Extending Ideas of Numerical Order in Cognition (Dr. Hutchison & Dr. Lyons)
Posted in Publications
February 1, 2022 – Graduate alumna Dr. Jane Hutchison, Professor Ian Lyons, and their collaborators have a new paper published in Cognition, “Extending Ideas of Numerical Order beyond the Count-List from Kindergarten to First Grade.“
Ordinal processing plays a fundamental role in both the representation and manipulation of symbolic numbers. As such, it is important to understand how children come to develop a sense of ordinality in the first place. The current study examines the role of the count-list in the development of ordinal knowledge through the investigation of two research questions: (1) Do K-1 children struggle to extend the notion of numerical order beyond the count-list, and if so (2) does this extension develop incrementally or manifest as a qualitative re-organization of how children recognize the ordinality of numerical sequences. Overall, we observed that although young children reliably identified adjacent ordered sequences (i.e., those that match the count-list; ‘2-3-4′) as being in the correct ascending order, they performed significantly below chance on non-adjacent ordered trials (i.e., those that do not match the count-list but are in the correct order; ‘2-4-6’) from the beginning of kindergarten to the end of first grade. Further, both qualitative and quantitative analyses supported the conclusion that the ability to extend notions of ordinality beyond the count-list emerged as a conceptual shift in ordinal understanding rather than through incremental improvements. These findings are the first to suggest that the ability to extend notions of ordinality beyond the count-list to include non-adjacent numbers is non-trivial and reflects a significant developmental hurdle that most children must overcome in order to develop a mature sense of ordinality.
Hutchison JE, Ansari D, Zheng S, De Jesus S, Lyons IM (in press). Extending Ideas of Numerical Order beyond the Count-List from Kindergarten to First Grade. Cognition, 223:105019.