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Procedural vs. direct retrieval strategies in arithmetic: A comparison between additive and multiplicative problem solving

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The opposition between declarative and procedural knowledge is used to account for the solution by more or less expert and novice arithmeticians of simple additions and multiplications presented either in mixed blocks (Experiments 1 and 3) or unmixed blocks (Experiment 2) in an equation verification task. In the three experiments, presenting the sign (+ vs ×) before the operands had a stronger effect in additions than in multiplications. This priming effect indicates that many participants use a counting procedure for additions that coexists with the declarative knowledge stored in the associative network. In contrast, the small size (and sometimes the absence) of a priming effect for the ''x'' sign, together with the weak effect of size and the frequency of interaction effects, reveals the essentially declarative nature of multiplication solution.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2002


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