Do infants understand simple arithmetic? A replication of Wynn (1992)

Tony J Simon, Susan J. Hespos, Philippe Rochat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

175 Scopus citations


Numerical competence in 5-month-old infants is investigated using a violation-of-expectation paradigm. An experiment is reported which replicates the findings of Wynn (1992). In additional conditions, 5-month-olds are shown to be sensitive to impossible outcomes following addition or subtraction operations on small sets of objects, regardless of identity changes. Results support Wynn's interpretation that infants' responses are based on arithmetical ability. An alternative explanation, that infants' responses are based on their knowledge of the principles of physical object behavior, is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-269
Number of pages17
JournalCognitive Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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