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Cultural differences in complex addition: efficient Chinese versus adaptive Belgians and Canadians

Ineke Imbo UGent and Jo-Anne LeFevre (2009) JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-LEARNING MEMORY AND COGNITION. 35(6). p.1465-1476
abstract
In the present study, the authors tested the effects of working-memory load on math problem solving in 3 different cultures: Flemish-speaking Belgians, English-speaking Canadians, and Chinese-speaking Chinese currently living in Canada. Participants solved complex addition problems (e.g., 58 + 76) in no-load and working-memory load conditions, in which either the central executive or the phonological loop was loaded. The authors used the choice/no-choice method to obtain unbiased measures of strategy selection and strategy efficiency. The Chinese participants were faster than the Belgians, who were faster and more accurate than the Canadians. The Chinese also required fewer working-memory resources than did the Belgians and Canadians. However, the Chinese chose less adaptively from the available strategies than did the Belgians and Canadians. These cultural differences in math problem solving are likely the result of different instructional approaches during elementary school (practice and training in Asian countries vs. exploration and flexibility in non-Asian countries), differences in the number language, and informal cultural norms and standards. The relevance of being adaptive is discussed as well as the implications of the results in regards to the strategy choice and discovery simulation model of strategy selection (J. Shrager & R. S. Siegler, 1998).
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
mental arithmetic, strategies, working memory, cultural differences, WORKING-MEMORY RESOURCES, MATHEMATICS ACHIEVEMENT, INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES, AMERICAN CHILDREN, STRATEGY CHOICES, COMPUTATIONAL ESTIMATION, ELEMENTARY-SCHOOL, COGNITIVE CONTROL, EXECUTIVE CONTROL, MENTAL ADDITION
journal title
JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-LEARNING MEMORY AND COGNITION
J. Exp. Psychol.-Learn. Mem. Cogn.
volume
35
issue
6
pages
1465 - 1476
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000271245200007
JCR category
PSYCHOLOGY, EXPERIMENTAL
JCR impact factor
3.344 (2009)
JCR rank
12/71 (2009)
JCR quartile
1 (2009)
ISSN
0278-7393
DOI
10.1037/a00170022
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
669215
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-669215
date created
2009-05-27 14:44:38
date last changed
2010-02-03 09:01:13
@article{669215,
  abstract     = {In the present study, the authors tested the effects of working-memory load on math problem solving in 3 different cultures: Flemish-speaking Belgians, English-speaking Canadians, and Chinese-speaking Chinese currently living in Canada. Participants solved complex addition problems (e.g., 58 + 76) in no-load and working-memory load conditions, in which either the central executive or the phonological loop was loaded. The authors used the choice/no-choice method to obtain unbiased measures of strategy selection and strategy efficiency. The Chinese participants were faster than the Belgians, who were faster and more accurate than the Canadians. The Chinese also required fewer working-memory resources than did the Belgians and Canadians. However, the Chinese chose less adaptively from the available strategies than did the Belgians and Canadians. These cultural differences in math problem solving are likely the result of different instructional approaches during elementary school (practice and training in Asian countries vs. exploration and flexibility in non-Asian countries), differences in the number language, and informal cultural norms and standards. The relevance of being adaptive is discussed as well as the implications of the results in regards to the strategy choice and discovery simulation model of strategy selection (J. Shrager \& R. S. Siegler, 1998).},
  author       = {Imbo, Ineke and LeFevre, Jo-Anne},
  issn         = {0278-7393},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-LEARNING MEMORY AND COGNITION},
  keyword      = {mental arithmetic,strategies,working memory,cultural differences,WORKING-MEMORY RESOURCES,MATHEMATICS ACHIEVEMENT,INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES,AMERICAN CHILDREN,STRATEGY CHOICES,COMPUTATIONAL ESTIMATION,ELEMENTARY-SCHOOL,COGNITIVE CONTROL,EXECUTIVE CONTROL,MENTAL ADDITION},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {1465--1476},
  title        = {Cultural differences in complex addition: efficient Chinese versus adaptive Belgians and Canadians},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a00170022},
  volume       = {35},
  year         = {2009},
}

Chicago
Imbo, Ineke, and Jo-Anne LeFevre. 2009. “Cultural Differences in Complex Addition: Efficient Chinese Versus Adaptive Belgians and Canadians.” Journal of Experimental Psychology-learning Memory and Cognition 35 (6): 1465–1476.
APA
Imbo, I., & LeFevre, J.-A. (2009). Cultural differences in complex addition: efficient Chinese versus adaptive Belgians and Canadians. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-LEARNING MEMORY AND COGNITION, 35(6), 1465–1476.
Vancouver
1.
Imbo I, LeFevre J-A. Cultural differences in complex addition: efficient Chinese versus adaptive Belgians and Canadians. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-LEARNING MEMORY AND COGNITION. 2009;35(6):1465–76.
MLA
Imbo, Ineke, and Jo-Anne LeFevre. “Cultural Differences in Complex Addition: Efficient Chinese Versus Adaptive Belgians and Canadians.” JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-LEARNING MEMORY AND COGNITION 35.6 (2009): 1465–1476. Print.