1st Edition

Individual Differences in Arithmetic
Implications for Psychology, Neuroscience and Education

ISBN 9780415655125
Published August 28, 2012 by Psychology Press
368 Pages

USD $62.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Standards in numeracy are a constant concern to educational policy-makers. However, why are differences in arithmetical performance so marked? In Individual Differences in Arithmetic, Ann Dowker seeks to provide a better understanding of why these differences in ability exist, encouraging a more informed approach to tackling numeracy difficulties.

This book reviews existing research by the author and by others on the subject of arithmetical ability and presents strong evidence to support a componential view of arithmetic. Focusing primarily on children, but including discussion of arithmetical cognition in healthy adults and neuropsychological patients, each of the central components of arithmetic is covered. Within this volume, findings from developmental, educational, cognitive and neuropsychological studies are integrated in a unique approach. This book covers subjects such as:

  • Counting and the importance of individual differences.
  • Arithmetic facts, procedures and different forms of memory.
  • Causes of, and interventions with, mathematical difficulties.
  • The effects of culture, language and experience.

The educational implications of these findings are discussed in detail, revealing original insights that will be of great interest to those studying or researching in the areas of education, neuroscience and developmental and cognitive psychology.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Children, Adults; Males, Females: Weaknesses and Talents. There is No Such Thing as Arithmetic Ability - Only Arithmetical Abilities. Relationships Between Arithmetic and Other Abilities. Counting and After: The Importance of Individual Differences. Is Arithmetic a Foreign Language? Representing Numbers and Arithmetic Problems in Differnt Forms and Translating Between Them. Derived Fact Strategies. A Good Guess: Estimation and Individual Differences. Arithmetic Facts, Procedures and Different Forms of Memory. Effects of Culture, Language and Experience. The Brain and Individual Differences in Arithmetic. "Maths Doesn't Like me Anymore": The Role of Attitudes and Emotions. Implications for Helping Children with Their Arithmetical Difficulties. Conclusions.

View More



Ann Dowker is University Research Lecturer in the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford.


'This book has managed to integrate relevant material from diverse, but nevertheless, complementary literatures. I am very impressed by the range and thoroughness of the research that has gone into the text. It is a great achievement to bring all of this together in a way that conveys the diversity of mathematical learning and thinking in a clear and authoritative text.' - John Adams, The University of Durham

'Individual Differences in Arithmetic makes a highly important, original contribution to our understanding of how children learn to do arithmetic and why so many fail. Ann Dowker successfully integrates findings across disciplines, countries, and time periods to present a comprehensive picture of children's individual differences in arithmetic. It is highly readable and should be accessible to a wide audience of scholars, practitioners, and anyone else interested in children's math.' - Nancy C. Jordan, School of Education, University of Delaware