Does Mental Number Line Training Work? The Effects of Cognitive Training on Real-Life Mathematics, Numeracy, and Decision Making

Agata Sobków , Kamil Fuławka , Paweł Tomczak , Piotr Zjawiony , Jakub Traczyk


We developed and validated intervention aimed at enhancing numeracy (the ability to understand and use the concept of probability and statistical information) and decision making. One hundred and twenty-two participants were randomly assigned to a Mental Number Line Training condition (MNLT) or an Arithmetic Training Active Control condition (ATAC). Response mode (a slider anchored within the current response range vs. a numerical keyboard) was the only, and essential, difference between experimental conditions. After MNLT, participants developed a more precise mapping of numbers onto the mental number line. However, the results regarding the transfer of this effect to performance in other cognitive tasks were mixed. We observed the transfer to an ability to quickly estimate the sum of numerical quantities (measured by the precision of estimates for the total price of everyday products), but we did not find evidence that MNLT, as compared to the control condition, improved performance on numerical competencies measures or decision-making tasks. Interestingly, we found that both MNLT and ATAC resulted in higher subjective numeracy as well as normatively better financial decisions, and valuation of risky prospects. Developing more exact symbolic-number mapping may be a promising direction of future research on improving decision making skills.
Author Agata Sobków (Filia we Wrocławiu / II Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu)
Agata Sobków,,
- II Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu
, Kamil Fuławka (Filia we Wrocławiu / II Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu)
Kamil Fuławka,,
- II Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu
, Paweł Tomczak (Filia we Wrocławiu / II Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu)
Paweł Tomczak,,
- II Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu
, Piotr Zjawiony
Piotr Zjawiony,,
, Jakub Traczyk (Filia we Wrocławiu / II Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu)
Jakub Traczyk,,
- II Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu
Journal seriesJournal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, ISSN 1076-898X, (N/A 100 pkt)
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets0.65
Keywords in Englishnumeracy, cognitive training, mental number line, decision making
ASJC Classification3205 Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Languageen angielski
Does_tekst.pdf 947.56 KB
oswiadczenie_Fulawka.pdf 565.76 KB
Tomczak_oswiadczenie.pdf 490.15 KB
oswiadczenie traczyk.pdf 570.11 KB
oswiadczenie sobkow.pdf 572.67 KB
Score (nominal)100
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2017 = 1.344; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 1.718 (2) - 2017=2.84 (5)
Citation count*6 (2021-02-26)
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