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Working Memory • Cultural differences in complex addition: Efficient Chinese versus adaptive Belgians and Canadians
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Cultural differences in complex addition: Efficient Chinese versus adaptive Belgians and Canadians

Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:53 am
by inekeimbo
Post topic: Cultural differences in complex addition: Efficient Chinese versus adaptive Belgians and Canadians

Title: Cultural differences in complex addition: Efficient Chinese versus adaptive Belgians and Canadians
Journal: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition
Journal details: 35, 1465-1476
Authors: Imbo, I., & LeFevre, J.-A.
Abstract: The present study tested the effects of working-memory load on math problem solving in three different cultures: Flemish-speaking Belgians, English-speaking Canadians, and Chinese-speaking Chinese currently living in Canada. They 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 choice/no-choice method was used 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 the Belgians and Canadians. However, the Chinese chose less adaptively from the available strategies than 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 versus 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 SCADS model of strategy selection (Shrager & Siegler, 1998).

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

Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:53 am
by inekeimbo