R. Gelman and C. Gallistel (1978, Young Children's Understanding of Number, Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press) use two definitions of the order-irrelevance principle interchangeably: (1) count tags do not have to be assigned in a fixed order and (2) the order in which elements of a set are enumerated does not affect the cardinal designation of the set. A study involving 107 kindergarten and first grade children indicates that the two are actually distinct concepts. Apparently, a willingness to arbitrarily assign tags is a developmentally less sophisticated ability than-and hence does not necessarily imply-an ability to predict that differently ordered counts produce the same cardinal designation. Thus it appears that evidence of the second ability is necessary to infer a full understanding of the order-irrelevance principle. The first ability alone implies what might better be termed an "order-indifferent tagging scheme". Suggestions for measuring and further researching the order-irrelevance principle are discussed.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Child Psychology|
|State||Published - Aug 1984|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology