Finger Gnosis And Symbolic Number Comparison as Robust Predictors of Adult Numeracy


Finger gnosis and magnitude comparison were examined as predictors of adult numeracy. Previous findings were extended by (1) controlling for domain-general comparison processes (using a luminance judgment task), (2) controlling for visuo-spatial memory, and (3) examining the robustness of the relations across different numeracy tests, including exact and approximate calculations. Control variables were entered in the first step of a multiple regression, with finger gnosis and magnitude comparison entered as a second step. Finger gnosis and symbolic magnitude comparison predicted unique variance in adults’ calculation fluency, computational estimation, and Woodcock Johnson calculation scores. The control variables, luminance comparison and visuo-spatial memory, did not account for significant variance in the numeracy outcomes, nor did non-symbolic magnitude comparison. These findings suggest that (1) the relation between finger gnosis and numeracy does not reflect visuo-spatial memory and (2) the relation between magnitude comparison and numeracy reflects number representations, rather than domain general processes.

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