TY - GEN

T1 - Rote versus Rule

T2 - 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Changing Minds, CogSci 2018

AU - Qin, Jike

AU - Opfer, John

N1 - Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by the U.S. Department of Education (Institute for Educational Sciences) R305A160295.
Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2018. All rights reserved.

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - Language is often depicted as the sine qua non of mathematical thinking, a view buttressed by findings of language-of-training effects among bilinguals. These findings, however, have been limited to studies of arithmetic. Nothing is known about the potential influence of language on the ability to learn rules about the relations among variables (e.g., algebra). To test whether arithmetic and algebraic thinking differ, Chinese-English bilinguals were trained to solve arithmetic and algebra problems in either Chinese or English and then tested on new and old problems in both languages. For arithmetic problems, solution times were always longer for English than Chinese; in both languages, solution times dropped during training; after training, solution times continued to drop for old problems, but returned to pre-training levels for new problems. In contrast, for algebra problems, solution times did not differ across language; solution times dropped during training; after training, gains in speed were preserved for both old and new problems. These findings suggest that the contribution of language to mathematical thinking may be limited to the areas of mathematics that are learned by rote and not by rule.

AB - Language is often depicted as the sine qua non of mathematical thinking, a view buttressed by findings of language-of-training effects among bilinguals. These findings, however, have been limited to studies of arithmetic. Nothing is known about the potential influence of language on the ability to learn rules about the relations among variables (e.g., algebra). To test whether arithmetic and algebraic thinking differ, Chinese-English bilinguals were trained to solve arithmetic and algebra problems in either Chinese or English and then tested on new and old problems in both languages. For arithmetic problems, solution times were always longer for English than Chinese; in both languages, solution times dropped during training; after training, solution times continued to drop for old problems, but returned to pre-training levels for new problems. In contrast, for algebra problems, solution times did not differ across language; solution times dropped during training; after training, gains in speed were preserved for both old and new problems. These findings suggest that the contribution of language to mathematical thinking may be limited to the areas of mathematics that are learned by rote and not by rule.

KW - algebra

KW - arithmetic

KW - language

KW - mathematical thinking

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85139545529&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Conference Proceeding

AN - SCOPUS:85139545529

T3 - Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2018

SP - 918

EP - 923

BT - Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2018

PB - The Cognitive Science Society

Y2 - 25 July 2018 through 28 July 2018

ER -