Reference : The odd-even effect in multiplication: parity rule or familiarity with even numbers?
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Neurosciences & behavior
The odd-even effect in multiplication: parity rule or familiarity with even numbers?
Lochy, Aliette mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Education, Culture, Cognition and Society (ECCS)]
Seron, X. [> >]
Delazer, M. [> >]
Butterworth, B. [> >]
Memory & cognition
United States
[en] Adolescent ; Adult ; Female ; Humans ; Logic ; Male ; Mathematics ; Memory ; Models, Psychological ; Problem Solving ; Psycholinguistics
[en] This study questions the evidence that a parity rule is used during the verification of multiplication. Previous studies reported that products are rejected faster when they violate the expected parity, which was attributed to the use of a rule (Krueger, 1986; Lemaire & Fayol, 1995). This experiment tested an alternative explanation of this effect: the familiarity hypothesis. Fifty subjects participated in a verification task with contrasting types of problems (even x even, odd x odd, mixed). Some aspects of our results constitute evidence against the use of the parity rule: False even answers were rejected slowly, even when the two operands were odd. We suggest that the odd-even effect in verification of multiplication could not be due to the use of the parity rule, but rather to a familiarity with even numbers (three quarters of products are indeed even).

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