Interesting Esoterica

The Role of Number Notation: Sign-Value Notation Number Processing is Easier than Place-Value

Article by Krajcsi, Attila and Szabó, Eszter
  • Published in 2012
  • Added on
Number notations can influence the way numbers are handled in computations; however, the role of notation itself in mental processing has not been examined directly. From a mathematical point of view, it is believed that place-value number notation systems, such as the Indo-Arabic numbers, are superior to sign-value systems, such as the Roman numbers. However, sign-value notation might have sufficient efficiency; for example, sign-value notations were common in flourishing cultures, such as in ancient Egypt. Herein we compared artificial sign-value and place-value notations in simple numerical tasks. We found that, contrary to the dominant view, sign-value notation can be applied more easily than place-value notation for multi-power comparison and addition tasks. Our results are consistent with the popularity of sign-value notations that prevailed for centuries. To explain the notation effect, we propose a natural multi-power number representation based on the numerical representation of objects.

Links

Other information

volume
3
journal
Frontiers in Psychology
publisher
Frontiers
issn
1664-1078
doi
10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00463
pages
463

BibTeX entry

@article{TheRoleofNumberNotationSignValueNotationNumberProcessingisEasierthanPlaceValue,
	title = {The Role of Number Notation: Sign-Value Notation Number Processing is Easier than Place-Value},
	abstract = {Number notations can influence the way numbers are handled in computations; however, the role of notation itself in mental processing has not been examined directly. From a mathematical point of view, it is believed that place-value number notation systems, such as the Indo-Arabic numbers, are superior to sign-value systems, such as the Roman numbers. However, sign-value notation might have sufficient efficiency; for example, sign-value notations were common in flourishing cultures, such as in ancient Egypt. Herein we compared artificial sign-value and place-value notations in simple numerical tasks. We found that, contrary to the dominant view, sign-value notation can be applied more easily than place-value notation for multi-power comparison and addition tasks. Our results are consistent with the popularity of sign-value notations that prevailed for centuries. To explain the notation effect, we propose a natural multi-power number representation based on the numerical representation of objects.},
	url = {https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00463/full https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00463/pdf},
	year = 2012,
	author = {Krajcsi, Attila and Szab{\'{o}}, Eszter},
	comment = {},
	urldate = {2020-03-19},
	volume = 3,
	journal = {Frontiers in Psychology},
	publisher = {Frontiers},
	issn = {1664-1078},
	doi = {10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00463},
	pages = 463,
	collections = {Education,Notation and conventions}
}