Study Shows Babies are Born With (or Without) Number Sense
A recent study has found that babies are born with an inherent tendency to excel or struggle in math. Scientists have found that babies who can determine the difference between large and small groups of items are likely to do better in math when they get older
Babies are born with some pretty cool innate abilities. I swear my oldest could sort his toys into detailed groupings by size, color, quantity and texture pretty much since birth. My second child has a clear indifference towards this sort of engineering, but he does have a knack for words and the charm of a youthful Seth MacFarlane.
A recent study has found that babies are actually born with an inherent tendency to be good at math or to fail when it comes to arithmetic. Scientists have found that babies who are good at determining the difference between large and small groups of items are likely to do better in math when they get older.
They call the ability a “primitive number sense,” pointing to babies’ ability to indicate when one grouping is larger than another by mere sight as opposed to analytical assessment. A study of 48 six-month-old infants determined that babies who could tell the difference between large and small groupings had a tendency to look longer at a screen that would show groupings of increasing and decreasing numerical values as opposed to a screen that had the same number of items consistently placed in varying formations.
Three years later, these same infants were tested again as preschoolers and given a standardized math test. Children who placed high in infancy also placed high when they were older, revealing an inherent tendency towards math and quantitative abilities. This connection between interpretive numbers and later test results shows that children are born with an inclination to excel or do poorly in mathematics.
That’s good news for parents of elementary kids who just don’t seem to “get” those multiplication tables—you can all rest easy knowing it’s likely NOT due to your failure to screen enough Count Von Count or Baby Einstein when they were little.
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