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  Inversion effects on mental arithmetic in English- and Polish-speaking adults

Lewis, C. A., Bahnmueller, J., Wesierska, M., Moeller, K., & Goebel, S. M. (2020). Inversion effects on mental arithmetic in English- and Polish-speaking adults. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 73(1), 91-103. doi:10.1177/1747021819881983.

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 Creators:
Lewis, Carolin Annette1, 2, 3, Author           
Bahnmueller, Julia1, 4, Author
Wesierska, Marta5, 6, Author
Moeller, Korbinian1, 4, Author
Goebel, Silke Melanie 5, Author
Affiliations:
1Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM), Tübingen, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, Leipzig, DE, ou_634549              
3Department for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany, ou_persistent22              
4Department of Psychology, LEAD Graduate School and Research Network, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany, ou_persistent22              
5Department of Psychology, University of York, Heslington, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
6Department of Human Communication Science, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Number word inversion; Mental arithmetic; Addition; Carry effect; Place-value processing
 Abstract: In some languages the order of tens and units in number words is inverted compared with the symbolic digital notation (e.g., German 23 → “dreiundzwanzig,” literally: “three-and-twenty”). In other languages only teen-numbers are inverted (e.g., English 17 → “seventeen”; Polish 17 → “siedemnaście” literally “seventeen”). Previous studies have focused on between group comparisons of inverted and non-inverted languages and showed that number word inversion impairs performance on basic numerical tasks and arithmetic. In two independent experiments, we investigated whether number word inversion affects addition performance within otherwise non-inverted languages (Exp. 1: English, Exp. 2: Polish). In particular, we focused on the influence of inverted (I; English: teen-numbers ⩾ 13, Polish: numbers 11–19) and non-inverted (N) summands with sums between 13 and 39. Accordingly, three categories of addition problems were created: N + N, N + I, and I + I with problem size matched across categories. Across both language groups, we observed that problems with results in the 20 and 30 number range were responded to faster when only non-inverted summands were part of the problems as opposed to problems with one or two inverted summands. In line with this, the cost of a carry procedure was the largest for two inverted summands. The results support the notion that both language-specific and language-invariant aspects contribute to addition problem-solving. In particular though, regarding language-specific aspects, the results indicate that inverted number word formation of teens influences place-value processing of Arabic digits even in otherwise non-inverted languages.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2019-07-082019-09-272020-01
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1177/1747021819881983
Other: Epub 2019
PMID: 31561743
 Degree: -

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Title: The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Academic Press [etc.]
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 73 (1) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 91 - 103 Identifier: ISSN: 0033-555X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925255152_1