TY - JOUR

T1 - Repeating numbers reduces results

T2 - Violations of the identity axiom in mental arithmetic

AU - Fischer, Martin H.

AU - Shaki, Samuel

N1 - Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Fischer and Shaki.

PY - 2018/12/5

Y1 - 2018/12/5

N2 - Even simple mental arithmetic is fraught with cognitive biases. For example, adding repeated numbers (so-called tie problems, e.g., 2 + 2) not only has a speed and accuracy advantage over adding different numbers (e.g., 1 + 3) but may also lead to under-representation of the result relative to a standard value (Charras et al., 2012, 2014). Does the tie advantage merely reflect easier encoding or retrieval compared to non-ties, or also a distorted result representation? To answer this question, 47 healthy adults performed two tasks, both of which indicated under-representation of tie results: In a result-to-position pointing task (Experiment 1) we measured the spatial mapping of numbers and found a left-bias for tie compared to non-tie problems. In a result-to-line-length production task (Experiment 2) we measured the underlying magnitude representation directly and obtained shorter lines for tie- compared to non-tie problems. These observations suggest that the processing benefit of tie problems comes at the cost of representational reduction of result meaning. This conclusion is discussed in the context of a recent model of arithmetic heuristics and biases.

AB - Even simple mental arithmetic is fraught with cognitive biases. For example, adding repeated numbers (so-called tie problems, e.g., 2 + 2) not only has a speed and accuracy advantage over adding different numbers (e.g., 1 + 3) but may also lead to under-representation of the result relative to a standard value (Charras et al., 2012, 2014). Does the tie advantage merely reflect easier encoding or retrieval compared to non-ties, or also a distorted result representation? To answer this question, 47 healthy adults performed two tasks, both of which indicated under-representation of tie results: In a result-to-position pointing task (Experiment 1) we measured the spatial mapping of numbers and found a left-bias for tie compared to non-tie problems. In a result-to-line-length production task (Experiment 2) we measured the underlying magnitude representation directly and obtained shorter lines for tie- compared to non-tie problems. These observations suggest that the processing benefit of tie problems comes at the cost of representational reduction of result meaning. This conclusion is discussed in the context of a recent model of arithmetic heuristics and biases.

KW - AHAB

KW - Cognitive bias

KW - Mental arithmetic

KW - Numerical cognition

KW - Operational momentum

KW - SNARC

KW - Tie problems

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85057605942&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02453

DO - 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02453

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AN - SCOPUS:85057605942

SN - 1664-1078

VL - 9

JO - Frontiers in Psychology

JF - Frontiers in Psychology

IS - DEC

M1 - 2453

ER -