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Understanding the Real Value of Fractions and Decimals

Abstract : Understanding fractions and decimals is difficult because whole numbers are the most frequently and earliest experienced type of number, and learners must avoid conceptualizing fractions and decimals in terms of their whole-number components (the “whole-number bias”). We explored the understanding of fractions, decimals, two-digit integers, and money in adults and 10-year-olds using two number line tasks: marking the line to indicate the target number, and estimating the numerical value of a mark on the line. Results were very similar for decimals, integers, and money in both tasks for both groups, demonstrating that the linear representation previously shown for integers is also evident for decimals already by the age of 10. Fractions seem to be “task dependent” so that when asked to place a fractional value on a line, both adults and children displayed a linear representation, while this pattern did not occur in the reverse task.
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Contributor : Teresa Iuculano <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, October 7, 2020 - 5:41:12 PM
Last modification on : Friday, February 26, 2021 - 5:58:02 PM

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Teresa Iuculano, Brian Butterworth. Understanding the Real Value of Fractions and Decimals. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2011, 64 (11), pp.2088-2098. ⟨10.1080/17470218.2011.604785⟩. ⟨halshs-02960523⟩



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