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


Towse, J N; Loetscher, T; Brugger, P (2014). Not all numbers are equal: preferences and biases among children and adults when generating random sequences. Frontiers in Psychology:5:19.

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).

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).

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3 citations in Web of Science®
3 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:21 Nov 2014 09:35
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 08:00
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1664-1078
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00019
PubMed ID:24478747

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