David C. Geary home page Department of Psychological Sciences home page
University of Missouri-Columbia home page
Abstract: Contributions of computational fluency to cross-national differences in arithmetical reasoning abilities.
To test the hypothesis that American students have an advantage over East Asian students in arithmetical reasoning once computational abilities and IQ are controlled, 237 U.S. and 218 Chinese college students took arithmetical computational and reasoning tests, along with IQ and spatial abilities tests. Significant national differences favoring the Chinese students were found for all but the spatial test. After controlling for IQ and computational fluency, the Chinese advantage on the arithmetical reasoning tests was still significant but substantively smaller in magnitude. A similar pattern was observed for a sample of 55 U.S. and 80 Chinese high school students. The results, though not fully consistent with the hypothesis, are consistent with the position that the East Asian advantage in computational abilities contributes to the advantage in arithmetical reasoning. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)