Scientific article

Retrieval or non-retrieval strategies in mental addition ? An operand-recognition paradigm

Published inMemory & cognition, vol. 35, no. 6, p. 1344-1352
Publication date2007

According to LeFevre, Sadesky, and Bisanz (1996), averaging solution latencies in order to study individuals' arithmetic strategies can result in misleading conclusions. Therefore, in addition to classical chronometric data, they collected verbal reports and challenged the assumption that adults rely systematically on retrieval of arithmetic facts from memory to solve simple addition problems. However, Kirk and Ashcraft (2001) questioned the validity of such a methodology and concluded that a more appropriate method has to be found. Thus, we developed an operand recognition paradigm that does not rely on verbal reports or on solution latencies. In accordance with LeFevre et al., we show in a first experiment that adults resort to nonretrieval strategies to solve addition problems involving medium numbers. However, in a second experiment, we show that high-skilled individuals can solve the same problems using a retrieval strategy. The benefits of our paradigm to the study of arithmetic strategies are discussed.

Citation (ISO format)
THEVENOT, Catherine, FANGET, Muriel, FAYOL, Michel. Retrieval or non-retrieval strategies in mental addition ? An operand-recognition paradigm. In: Memory & cognition, 2007, vol. 35, n° 6, p. 1344–1352.
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Article (Published version)
  • PID : unige:4019
ISSN of the journal0090-502X

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