Journal article
The relationship between the shape of the mental number line and familiarity with numbers in 5- to 9-year old children: Evidence for a segmented linear model

Publication Details
Ebersbach, M.; Luwel, K.; Frick, A.; Onghena, P.; Verschaffel, L.
Publication year:
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Pages range:
Volume number:

This experiment aimed to expand previous findings on the development of mental number representation. We tested the hypothesis that children's familiarity with numbers is directly reflected by the shape of their mental number line. This mental number line was expected to be linear as long as numbers lay within the range of numbers children were familiar with. Five- to 9-year-olds (N = 78) estimated the positions of numbers on an external number line and additionally completed a counting assessment mirroring their familiarity with numbers. A segmented regression model consisting of two linear segments described number line estimations significantly better than a logarithmic or a simple linear model. Moreover, the change point between the two linear segments, indicating a change of discriminability between numbers, was significantly correlated with children's familiar number range. Findings are discussed in terms of the accumulator model, assuming a linear mental representation with scalar variability. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

Childhood Development, childhood mental development, Cognitive Development, Familiarity, familiarity with numbers, Linear Regression, mental number representation, Number Comprehension, regression model, segmented linear model point


Last updated on 2019-25-07 at 10:03