Children's Understanding of Probability Concepts

  • Hoemann H
  • Ross B
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Abstract

4 experiments administering probability judgment tasks are reported tising child Ss ranging in age from preschool to early adolescence. Experiment 1 showed equivalent results with probability and proportionality instructions when judgments were performed between 2 circles with different black and white proportions. Experiment 2 showed that fewer correct probability than proportionality judgments occurred when S« judged a single circle. It was concluded that the 2-circle task does not require probability concepts, since S* need not construct probability ratios to succeed. These results confirm those of Piaget and Inhelder. Experiments 3 and 4^ modified the 2-circle task to require use of 'probability concepts and administered a probability task with double arrays of discrete objects. Results were comparable to those found for the single-circle task. Researchers who have claimed that preschool children use probability concepts are criticized since their experimental tasks have been similar to the unmMified 2-circle task of Experiment 1.

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Authors

  • Harry W. Hoemann

  • Bruce M. Ross

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