Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology



First Committee Member

Mark Ashcraft, Chair

Second Committee Member

David Copeland

Third Committee Member

Joel Snyder

Fourth Committee Member

Colleen Parks

Graduate Faculty Representative

Gaby Wulf

Number of Pages



This study attempts to extend the principle tenets of the Overlapping Waves Theory (Siegler, 1996), a framework designed to explain the progression of trends in cognitive development, to adult participants’ performance in a dot enumeration task. Literature in the 0-100 number line estimation task (Siegler & Booth, 2004, Ashcraft & Moore, 2011) has revealed a pervasive trend in child estimation such that young children (especially those in kindergarten) respond with a logarithmic line of best fit, while children at the third grade and above overwhelmingly respond with linear estimates to this same range of numbers. A similar developmental trend is found with older children in the 0-1000 range as well (Siegler & Booth, 2004). It is argued in this work that the expression of two distinct representations, as seen in developmental number line estimation studies, is also possible in adult samples. Additionally, it is argued that the expression of one representation over another is dependent on the same cognitive components acquired in the development of a linear number sense in children. More specifically the expression of these representations is a function of the available amount of numerical information pertaining to the origin, endpoint, and subsequently the midpoint of the parameter tested.


Cognition; Continuum; Discrimination; Estimation; Number concept; Number line; Numeration; Numerosity; Psychology; Representation


Child Psychology | Cognitive Psychology | Mathematics | Psychology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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