L'influence du nombre sur le traitement des problèmes temporels

Stavroula Samartzis
Published Online:
27 Sep 2007
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 30 Issue 2

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Our proposal concerns the development of temporal inferences when the information is given in symbolic form. As far as the qualitative and quantitative aspects of reasoning are concerned, our hypothesis is that the presence of numerical data makes the task resolution easier, because this kind of written information (quantitative) leads subjects to the construction of algebraic integration rules. Sixteen problems concerning the order of lighting, the order of extinction, and the relative duration of two lamps (non‐cinematique events) were presented to 49 10‐year‐old children. The problems were presented in one of two forms: a qualitative form where data is expressed by the relative terms “before” and “after” and a quantitative form where data is expressed by numbers (eg “the red lamp goes on at 9 o'clock, the green one at 11 o'clock”)‐ Thus, the children were presented a set of 32 experimental situations. Two types of problems are distinguished: the decidable type concerns problems with one possible solution and the undecidable type concerns problems with multiple solutions. The results show that (a) problems with numerical data are easier to solve; and (b) the errors observed are based on cognitive mechanisms that are more developed.

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