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

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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)

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.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/24761
DOI https://doi.org/10.2466/04.10.PR0.113x12z2
Official URL http://www.amsciepub.com/doi/abs/10.2466/04.10.PR0...
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Current > Division/Research > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Keywords mathematical skills, child psychology, mathematical ability, ability testing
Citations in Scopus 6 - View on Scopus
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