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Evidence for children's error sensitivity during arithmetic word problem solving

, , , CNRS, France

Learning and Instruction Volume 40, Number 1, ISSN 0959-4752 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Solving simple arithmetic word problems is often challenging for children. Recent research suggests that children often fail to solve certain of these problems because they fail to inhibit erroneous heuristic intuitions that bias their judgment. However it is unclear whether these errors result from an error monitoring or inhibition failure. Our study focuses on this critical error detection. Eight to eleven year-old schoolchildren were given problems in which an intuitively cued heuristic answer conflicted with the correct answer and a control version in which this conflict was not present. After solving each version children were asked to indicate their response confidence. Results showed that children showed a sharp confidence decrease after having failed to solve the conflict problems. This indicates that erring children have some minimal awareness of the questionable nature of their answer and underscores that they have more arithmetic understanding than their errors might seem to suggest.


Lubin, A., Houdé, O. & de Neys, W. (2015). Evidence for children's error sensitivity during arithmetic word problem solving. Learning and Instruction, 40(1), 1-8. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved January 18, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Learning and Instruction on January 29, 2019. Learning and Instruction is a publication of Elsevier.

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