Infants and Mathematical Abilities

Infants and Mathematical Abilities - Infants and...

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Infants and Mathematical Abilities 1 Infants and Mathematical Abilities: A Review of the Literature Denise M. Wallace Psychology 461, Section 1 Professor Deanna Larus March 1, 2008
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Infants and Mathematical Abilities 2 Infants and Mathematical Abilities: A Review of the Literature Can infants really perform quantitative functions? This has been a controversial issue since Karen Wynn first suggested it with her infamous theory from the journal Nature, 358, 1992: Addition and Subtraction by Human Infants . In her study she suggested that 5-month-olds were able to distinguish between objects being added or subtracted directly in front of them. The experiment showed that infants were likely to spend more time looking at what Wynn called, “the impossible outcome”- when another object was added to a single object they had already been looking at. She inferred that the infants had knowledge of object permanence and that this was an innate ability, concluding that infants are able to literally count in numbers (p. 750). Other Research Theories Other researchers argue that the infants weren’t counting at all. Mix, Huttenlocher, and Levine (2002) suggest that perhaps the infants are using spatial cues such as size, contours, or surface area to draw their attention. Infants do not
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This note was uploaded on 04/12/2008 for the course PSYC 461 taught by Professor Larus during the Spring '08 term at UNC.

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Infants and Mathematical Abilities - Infants and...

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