Developing Infant’s Numerical Abilities: A Training Study on Counting

Hensby, Kristyn (2014). Developing Infant’s Numerical Abilities: A Training Study on Counting Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Hensby, Kristyn
Thesis Title Developing Infant’s Numerical Abilities: A Training Study on Counting
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2014-10-07
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Virginia Slaughter
Total pages 68
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Counting is developmentally important, as it is the first formal computational system a child acquires and is the foundation for all future mathematical skills. It has been suggested that exposure to counting activities is highly important for learning to count correctly. Therefore, it was integral to investigate the origins of counting abilities in development to identify the crucial point at which exposure to numeracy should be implemented. The aim of this research was to examine whether training in counting would increase an infants’ ability to discriminate between correct and incorrect counting. Fourteenmonth- old infants were randomly assigned to a counting or control training condition. Infants participated in one-to-one correspondence and stable order tasks at pre- and post-test. One-to-one correspondence tasks invited infants to watch a video wherein a hand pointed to and counted either six objects, counting correctly, or two objects whilst counting to six, counting incorrectly. The stable order task invited infants to press two differently coloured buttons. One button elicited a correct count sequence wherein a voice recited a standard count list. The other button elicited an incorrect count sequence that elicited an unstable ordered count list. It was hypothesised that infants in both conditions should show no discrimination between correct and incorrect counting sequences on either task at pre-test. At post-test, however, infants in the counting training condition were predicted to prefer correct count sequences in both tasks while infants in the body-part training condition were not. Results indicated that infants in the counting training condition did not show a stronger preference for principle-consistent counting honouring either the one-to-one correspondence or stable order principles, indicating that the training employed did not enable infants to extract the how-to-count principles. Possible limitations of the current study and future directions of the research are discussed.
Keyword Child development

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Created: Wed, 29 Apr 2015, 14:35:03 EST by Louise Grainger on behalf of School of Psychology