Does Spontaneous Attention to Relations Predict Conceptual Knowledge of Negative Numbers?


  • Richard Prather


Mastery of mathematics depends on the people’s ability to manipulate and abstract values such as negative numbers. Knowledge of arithmetic principles does not necessarily generalize from positive number arithmetic to arithmetic involving negative numbers (Prather & Alibali, 2008, In this study, we evaluate the relationship between participant’s knowledge of the Relation to Operands arithmetic principle in both positive and negative numbers and their spontaneous on numerical relations. Additionally, we tested if the feedback that directs attention to relations affects participants’ attention to relation and their arithmetic principle knowledge. This study contributes to our understanding of the specific skills and cognitive processes that are associated with understanding high-level mathematics.