Authors:Colleen M. Ganley, Rachel A. Conlon, Amanda L. McGraw, Connie Barroso, Elyssa A. Geer Pages: 4 - 19 Abstract: Research suggests that math and test anxiety have detrimental impacts on performance in math. To prevent these effects, a number of interventions have been developed, but these interventions have not been extensively tested. In the current study, we examine whether four brief anxiety interventions reduce state anxiety and/or increase math performance. We also examine whether any of the interventions weaken the relation between math or test anxiety and math performance. Participants were 300 college students varying in math and test anxiety levels. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four single-session interventions, which each took 5 minutes or less (reappraisal as challenge, reappraisal as excitement, expressive writing, and look ahead), or a no intervention control group. Results generally show that none of the interventions had an effect on reports of state anxiety or performance on a difficult math assessment, with the exception that students in the expressive writing condition reported higher levels of state anxiety. None of the interventions served to attenuate the relation between math or test anxiety and math performance. These findings were not consistent with results of previous work, and suggest that interventions may need to be more extensive in order to have an effect on state anxiety and math performance. PubDate: 2021-03-31 DOI: 10.5964/jnc.6065 Issue No:Vol. 7, No. 1 (2021)

Authors:Carrie Georges, Christine Schiltz Pages: 20 - 41 Abstract: Considering the importance of mathematical knowledge for STEM careers, we aimed to better understand the cognitive mechanisms underlying the commonly observed relation between number line estimations (NLEs) and arithmetics. We used a within-subject design to model NLEs in an unbounded and bounded task and to assess their relations to arithmetics in second to fourth grades. Our results mostly agree with previous findings, indicating that unbounded and bounded NLEs likely index different cognitive constructs at this age. Bounded NLEs were best described by cyclic power models including the subtraction bias model, likely indicating proportional reasoning. Conversely, mixed log-linear and single scalloped power models provided better fits for unbounded NLEs, suggesting direct estimation. Moreover, only bounded but not unbounded NLEs related to addition and subtraction skills. This thus suggests that proportional reasoning probably accounts for the relation between NLEs and arithmetics, at least in second to fourth graders. This was further confirmed by moderation analysis, showing that relations between bounded NLEs and subtraction skills were only observed in children whose estimates were best described by the cyclic power models. Depending on the aim of future studies, our results suggest measuring estimations on unbounded number lines if one is interested in directly assessing numerical magnitude representations. Conversely, if one aims to predict arithmetic skills, one should assess bounded NLEs, probably indexing proportional reasoning, at least in second to fourth graders. The present outcomes also further highlight the potential usefulness of training the positioning of target numbers on bounded number lines for arithmetic development. PubDate: 2021-03-31 DOI: 10.5964/jnc.6067 Issue No:Vol. 7, No. 1 (2021)

Authors:Sofía Castro, Pedro Macizo Pages: 42 - 65 Abstract: This study evaluated the existence of universal principles of cognition, common to language and arithmetic. Specifically, we analysed cross-domain semantic priming between affirmative sentences and additions, and between negative sentences and subtractions. To this end, we developed and tested a new priming procedure composed of prime sentences and target arithmetic operations. On each trial, participants had to read an affirmative or negative sentence (e.g., “The circle is red”, “The square is not yellow”) and select, between two images, the one that matched the meaning of the sentence. Afterwards, participants had to solve a one-digit addition or subtraction (e.g., 7 + 4, 6 – 3), either by selecting the correct result between two possible alternatives (Experiment 1), or by verbalizing the result of the operation (Experiment 2). We manipulated the task difficulty of both the sentences and the operations by varying the similarity between the response options for the sentence (Experiment 1 and 2), and the numerical distance between the possible results for the operation (Experiment 1). We found semantic priming for subtractions, so that participants solved subtractions faster after negative versus affirmative sentences, and this effect was modulated by the difficulty of the operation. This is the first study reporting semantic priming effects between language and arithmetic. The outcomes of this work seem to suggest a shared semantic system between both cognitive domains. PubDate: 2021-03-31 DOI: 10.5964/jnc.6167 Issue No:Vol. 7, No. 1 (2021)

Authors:Madhur Sharma, Satwat Bashir, Gaurav Suri Pages: 66 - 81 Abstract: Single-digit, three addend sums of the type a + b + c offer a rich opportunity to directly observe the range of strategies that different participants may use because they afford the possibility of measuring a partial sum (i.e., a + b or a + c or b + c). For example, while computing the sum 9 + 7 + 1, do participants go in order by first adding 9 + 7 and then adding 1, or do they incur the cost of going out of order by adding 9 + 1 in order to obtain the partial sum of 10, which makes the subsequent addition of 7 less effortful' Informed by findings in simple and complex arithmetic, we investigated the problem types and participant characteristics that can predict out of order switching behavior in such three-addend sums. To test our hypotheses, we tasked participants, first in an online study, and then in an in-person study to complete 120 single-digit, three addend problems. We found that participants switched the order of addition to prioritize efficiency gains in contexts in which the partial sum addends were small or equal to each other, or when doing so led to a partial sum of 10, or led to a partial sum that is equal to the third remaining integer. Response latency data confirmed that participants were deriving efficiencies in the manner we expected. Related to individual differences, our findings showed that participants with higher levels of math education were most likely to seek efficiency benefits whenever they were on offer. PubDate: 2021-03-31 DOI: 10.5964/jnc.6169 Issue No:Vol. 7, No. 1 (2021)