Semantic Alignment of Fractions and Decimals with Discrete Versus Continuous Entities: A Cross-national Comparison

Hee Seung Lee, Melissa DeWolf, Miriam Bassok, Keith J. Holyoak

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Previous work has shown that adults in the United States selectively use fractions and decimals to model discrete and continuous entities, respectively. However, it is unclear whether this apparent semantic alignment between the format of rational numbers and quantitative ontology is specific to the American education system, the English language, or measuring conventions (primarily imperial measures). Here we test whether similar alignments hold for Korean college students who differ from American students in educational background, language, and measurement conventions. Across three experiments, we found that the alignments found in the United States were generally replicated in South Korea. Relative to Americans, Korean students showed an overall bias towards using continuous representations, perhaps related to their exclusive use of the metric measurement system and to differences in instructional practice identified in a textbook analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2015
EditorsDavid C. Noelle, Rick Dale, Anne Warlaumont, Jeff Yoshimi, Teenie Matlock, Carolyn D. Jennings, Paul P. Maglio
PublisherThe Cognitive Science Society
Pages1261-1266
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780991196722
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Mind, Technology, and Society, CogSci 2015 - Pasadena, United States
Duration: 2015 Jul 232015 Jul 25

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2015

Conference

Conference37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Mind, Technology, and Society, CogSci 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPasadena
Period15/7/2315/7/25

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2015.All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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