The Effects of Training on Pre-Algebraic Pattern Thinking in Preschoolers
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Psychology Honors Theses; 2019
A human’s ability to recognize patterns in early development is predictive of later mathematic aptitude. Therefore, the implementation of pattern and relational training in early education could help improve future mathematical performance, thus warranting further study. This study involves 4- to 6-year-old children. In Experiment 1, we explored how the use of perceptually rich stimuli (i.e., everyday objects) compared to the use of more impoverished stimuli when teaching children patterning. The study utilized a basic pre- to post-test design, in which children were trained with either perceptually rich materials or more perceptually impoverished materials, followed by measures of generalization and transfer. Children trained on simple shapes outperformed those who were trained on “real objects,” such that children were more likely to correctly choose the pattern match in the more impoverished condition. Experiment 2 was developed based on the results of Experiment 1 and utilized simplistic stimuli to train children on pattern matching in one of two formats: massed (all training together) or spaced (breaks during training). Here, we found that children learned the pattern match across both conditions; however, gains following a two-week delay were only evident in the Massed condition. Together, results from this study suggest that young children conceptualize patterning better when simple materials are used, however it is unclear whether massed or spaced training is better for pattern learning.
Second Place Winner: Denman Undergraduate Research Forum Poster Session; First Place Winner 2018: CogFest Undergraduate Research Poster Session; Second Place Winner: Three Minute Thesis (3MT®); Second Place Winner: Psychology Undergraduate Research Colloquium Poster Session; First Place Winner 2019: CogFest Undergraduate Research Poster Session
Academic Major: Psychology
Undergraduate Research Summer Fellowship, The Ohio State University
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