Term of Award

Summer 2018

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Ty W. Boyer

Committee Member 1

Bradley R. Sturz

Committee Member 2

Gregory Chamblee


The National Mathematics Advisory Panel (2008) described fraction knowledge as the most important, yet most underdeveloped foundational skill among students. Due to the complex nature of fraction education, this study sought to understand the underlying fraction problem-solving skill of proportional reasoning in the hopes of gaining insight into children’s problem-solving strategies in order to implement more focused educational designs. The current study examined the effects of stimuli formats on children’s proportional reasoning ability by presenting four conditions involving two formats (continuous and discrete). Previous research indicates that students perform better on continuous stimuli and the goal of this study was to determine if preceding format type has any effect on subsequent trials. It was expected that children would perform better on discrete trials if preceded by continuous trials and would do worse on continuous trials if preceded by discrete trials, however, this finding was not found. Overall the study provided further evidence that children perform better with age and are more successful on trials with a continuous format rather than a discrete format.

Research Data and Supplementary Material