The effects of interference on simple multiplication problems under three sets of instructions
Campbell, 1987 used error priming to produce interference effects on error patterns as well as on RTs. This study examined the effects of three sets of instructions (speed, speed/accuracy, accuracy) on error priming. The subjects, forty-eight undergraduate students, were shown a series of multiplication problems involving all combinations of numbers ranging from 2-9, or 72 problems. The problems were presented in the form m $\times$ n = ? on an Apple IIe microcomputer which recorded reaction times (RTs). The results indicated that adult performance on simple multiplication problems is subject to associative interference. However the error patterns and reaction times (RTs) also suggested that the use of strategies plays a role in arithmetical performance. The data provided moderate support for the associative network interference model. Although the effect of retrieval priming on error patterns was in the general direction as predicted by the theory, the RT data were less supportive of the interference position. Furthermore, the effects on error types and RTs were influenced by the instructions. It is argued that the differential performance under speed and accuracy instructions is better explained by a theoretical model that assumes active cognitive processing especially where direct retrieval fails.
0620: Developmental psychology
0280: Mathematics education