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Exploring individual differences in children's mathematical skills: A correlational and dimensional approach

Sigmundsson, H, Polman, Remco and Loras, H (2013) Exploring individual differences in children's mathematical skills: A correlational and dimensional approach. Psychological Reports, 113 (1). pp. 23-30. ISSN 0033-2941 (print) 1558-691X (online)

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Abstract

Individual differences in mathematical skills are typically explained by an innate capability to solve mathematical tasks. At the behavioural level, this implies a consistent level of mathematical achievement that can be captured by strong relationships between tasks, as well as by a single statistical dimension that underlies performance on all mathematical tasks. To investigate this general assumption, the present study explored interrelations and dimensions of mathematical skills. For this purpose, 68 ten-year-old children from two schools were tested using nine mathematics tasks from the Basic Knowledge in Mathematics Test. Relatively low-to-moderate correlations between the mathematics tasks indicated most tasks shared less than 25% of their variance. There were four principal components, accounting for 70% of the variance in mathematical skill across tasks and participants. The high specificity in mathematical skills was discussed in relation to the principle of task specificity of learning.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: mathematical skills, child psychology, mathematical ability, ability testing
Subjects: FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Depositing User: VUIR
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2014 23:52
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2014 04:52
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/24761
DOI: https://doi.org/10.2466/04.10.PR0.113x12z2
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Citations in Scopus: 4 - View on Scopus

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