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    Rights statement: Copyright © 2014 Towse, Loetscher and Brugger. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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Not all numbers are equal: preferences and biases among children and adults when generating random sequences

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Article number19
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>23/01/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Frontiers in Psychology
Volume5
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We investigate the number preferences of children and adults when generating random digit sequences. Previous research has shown convincingly that adults prefer smaller numbers when randomly choosing between responses 1-6. We analyse randomisation choices made by both children and adults, considering a range of experimental studies and task configurations. Children – most of whom are between 8 and 11 years- show a preference for relatively large numbers when choosing numbers 1-10. Adults show a preference for small numbers with the same response set. We report a modest association between children’s age and numerical bias. However, children also exhibit a small number bias with a smaller response set available, and they show a preference specifically for the numbers 1-3 across many datasets. We argue that number space demonstrates both continuities (numbers 1-3 have a distinct status) and change (a developmentally emerging bias towards the left side of representational space or lower numbers).

Bibliographic note

Copyright © 2014 Towse, Loetscher and Brugger. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.