A reexamination of mental arithmetic models and data: A reply to Ashcraft

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In a review of the chronometric literature, M. Ashcraft (1982, Developmental Review, 2, 213-236) concludes that adults store each basic arithmetic fact in a table-like retrieval network. In my commentary (1983, Developmental Review, 3, 225-230), I argued that procedural knowledge (stored rules, principles, or heuristics) might be a cognitively more economical basis for generating many number combinations. In this paper, I draw an analogy between this alternative model of number fact representation and how computers efficiently reconstruct arithmetic combinations, note that the research findings do not clearly support any one model of mental arithmetic, and attempt to address Ashcraft's (1983, Developmental Review, 3, 231-235) criticisms of my model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-156
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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