Author(s): Robinson KM, Arbuthnott KD, Gibbons KA
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Abstract There has been a recent increase in the study of adults' performance on simple division problems. Researchers up to now have focused on the relationship between multiplication and division and have found that multiplication often has a mediating role in the solution of division problems (Campbell, 1997, 1999; LeFevre & Morris, 1999; Mauro, LeFevre, & Morris, 2002). In this study, division was exclusively examined to determine the strategies that are used to solve these problems and to identify factors relating to particular strategy use. Thirty-two participants were asked to solve two sets of 64 simple division problems (from 4 divided by 2 to 81 divided by 9) and error, latency, and strategy report data were collected. Fewer errors were made on easy problems, which were also solved more quickly than difficult problems. Participants used retrieval, multiplication, and other strategies to solve the problems and tended to use retrieval more on easy than difficult problems and used multiplication more on difficult problems than easy problems. Unexpected age differences in strategy use were also found. Older participants tended to rely more heavily on retrieval than younger participants. These results suggest that older participants may have stronger representations for simple division problems than younger participants.
This article was published in Can J Exp Psychol
and referenced in International Journal of School and Cognitive Psychology