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Multiple Numeric Competencies: When a Number Is Not Just a Number

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Ellen Peters
Pär Bjälkebring
Publicerad i Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volym 108-
Nummer/häfte 5
Sidor 802-822
ISSN 0022-3514
Publiceringsår 2015
Publicerad vid Psykologiska institutionen
Sidor 802-822
Språk en
Länkar www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2528596...
Ämnesord numeracy, decision making, JDM
Ämneskategorier Kognitionsforskning, Psykologi

Sammanfattning

A growing body of evidence demonstrates the practical and theoretical importance of numeracy in evaluations and choices involving numeric information, an importance that goes beyond simple accuracy in performing mathematical computations. Numeric competency, however, may be multiply determined, but little research has examined potentially separable influences in evaluations and choice. In the present article, we describe 3 numeric competencies and begin to disentangle their effects. Participants (N = 111) completed a series of tasks in 4 1-hr sessions. We first examined relations between objective numeracy, subjective numeracy, and symbolic-number mapping abilities (thought to tap into internal representations of numeric magnitude and the mapping of symbolic numbers onto those representations) using a structural equation model. We then explored their dissociations in numeric and nonnumeric tasks. Higher vs. lower scores in objective numeracy were associated with explicit number operations, including number comparisons and calculations. Those with more vs. less exact mapping had better numeric memory (but not nonnumeric) and produced valuations that were closer to (but did not equal) a risky gamble's expected value, indicating a link with superior number intuitions. Finally, individuals lower vs. higher in subjective numeracy had more negative emotional reactions to numbers and were less motivated and/or confident in numeric tasks. It was less clear whether subjective numeracy might also relate to more general motivations and metacognitions involving nonnumeric information. We conclude that numeric competencies should be used in a more targeted fashion to understand their multiple mechanisms in people's evaluations, choices, and life outcomes.

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