Probability learning and Piagetian probability conceptions in children 5 to 12 years old.

S. Kreitler, E. Zigler, H. Kreitler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study focused on the relations between performance on a three-choice probability-learning task and conceptions of probability as outlined by Piaget concerning mixture, normal distribution, random selection, odds estimation, and permutations. The probability-learning task and four Piagetian tasks were administered randomly to 100 male and 100 female, middle SES, average IQ children in three age groups (5 to 6, 8 to 9, and 11 to 12 years old) from different schools. Half the children were from Middle Eastern backgrounds, and half were from European or American backgrounds. As predicted, developmental level of probability thinking was related to performance on the probability-learning task. The more advanced the child's probability thinking, the higher his or her level of maximization and hypothesis formulation and testing and the lower his or her level of systematically patterned responses. The results suggest that the probability-learning and Piagetian tasks assess similar cognitive skills and that performance on the probability-learning task reflects a variety of probability concepts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-533
Number of pages29
JournalGenetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1989


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