Girls' verbal skills make them better at arithmetic

(PhysOrg.com) -- While boys generally do better than girls in science and math, some studies have found that girls do better in arithmetic. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that the advantage comes from girls’ superior verbal skills.

“People have always thought that males’ advantage is in and spatial skills, and girls’ advantage is in language,” says Xinlin Zhou of Beijing Normal University, who cowrote the study with Wei Wei, Hao Lu, Hui Zhao, and Qi Dong of Beijing Normal University and Chuansheng Chen of the University of California-Irvine. “However, some parents and teachers in China say girls do better than boys in primary school.”

Zhou and his colleagues did a series of tests with children ages 8 to 11 at 12 primary schools in and around Beijing. Indeed, girls outperformed boys in many math skills. They were better at arithmetic, including tasks like simple subtraction and complex multiplication. Girls were also better at numerosity comparison—making a quick estimate of which of two arrays had more dots in it. Girls outperformed boys at quickly recognizing the larger of two numbers and at completing a series of numbers (like “2 4 6 8”). Boys performed better at mentally rotating three-dimensional images.

Girls were also better at judging whether two words rhymed, and Zhou and his colleagues think this is the key to their better math performance. “Arithmetic and even advanced math needs verbal processing,” Zhou says. Counting is verbal; the multiplication table is memorized verbally, and when people are doing multiple-digit calculations, they hold the intermediate results in their memory as words.

“Better language skills could lead to more efficient verbal processing in arithmetic,” Zhou says. He thinks it might be possible to use these results to help both boys and girls learn math better. could use more help with verbal strategies for learning math terms, while might benefit from more practice with spatial skills.

More information: www.psychologicalscience.org/i… sychological_science

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Sinister1811
Feb 23, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Lurker2358
not rated yet Feb 23, 2012
Counting is verbal;


Nope. Daniel Tamett is proof of this. Counting is "visual" or one might even say "topographical".

the multiplication table is memorized verbally,

Again wrong.

Daniel Tamett proves this is not the case.

I have most of the multiplication table up to 20 by 20 memorized as unique symbols or values. the difference is I did it consciously, while Daniel Tamett's brain does it automatically.

When I do 2 by 2 digit multiplication, in some cases, not all, I simply crunch the numbers as a single unit, or else find that I already have the solution memorized as a symbol. But again, this is only a few with me, definitely not all. With him, he has several thousand numbers as unique symbol values, actually a landscape, not words.

I got marks off in school from not showing work.

and when people are doing multiple-digit calculations, they hold the intermediate results in their memory as words.


This is only true on very long calculations...see below..
Lurker2358
not rated yet Feb 23, 2012
When tested, Daniel Tammett spat out decimal digits of prime numbers divided by prime numbers to more digits than a windows calculator software could verify... as fast as he could talk.

For example, square numbers I have memorized so perfectly that I don't even think about it, the answer just pops in the head as a single unit.

there are several math programs to train yourself to do math, and to be honest I'm actually rusty on it, but for example.

11*11 is 121.

121 should no be viewed as the "result" of a calculation. 121 is the same value and the same symbol as 11*11.

11*111 is 1221
111*111 is 12321

and ideally, we should learn to recognize this is as not even being a "calculation," but being two symbols for the same value, and eventually, equivalent symbols.

While these are a bit of a trick, ideally we should learn to do all math this way, as every number is unique, particularly prime numbers.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Feb 23, 2012
Nope. Daniel Tamett is proof of this. Counting is "visual" or one might even say "topographical".
No what he does in his brain is entirely different from what other people do.
http://www.youtub...-1YLGAS0
When I do 2 by 2 digit multiplication, in some cases, not all, I simply crunch the numbers as a single unit
Yeah you are the schwarzeneggar of mentality. In your own mind that is.

"Xinlin Zhou of Beijing Normal University, who cowrote the study with Wei Wei, Hao Lu, Hui Zhao, and Qi Dong of Beijing Normal University and Chuansheng Chen of the University of California-Irvine. "However, some parents and teachers in China say girls do arithmetic better than boys in primary school."
Zhou and his colleagues did a series of tests"

-Again the brainiac thinks he knows more about something than experts do, just by thinking about it. I think your cognition needs a serious tuneup.
I got marks off in school from not showing work.
Or perhaps just not doing well?
Lurker2358
not rated yet Feb 23, 2012
I'm 99th percentile math and 97th verbal skills. My verbal I.Q. is rated "superior" by a clinical psychologist, and he really didn't have anything to test my math skills.

I was 100th percentile when I took the asvab years ago. They said they'd never seen anything like it.

No, A in senior advanced math class and physics class, and spent my spare time playing chess with the other people who finished all their work ahead of time.

I watched the program on Daniel Tammett when it aired, and I've always had similarities to him, certainly not to the degree he has. His brain is incredible, but what makes him special is he is also consciously aware of how his brain is doing it.

I can do double digit numbers raised to the 5 and 6 power in my head, and other large multiplication and division.

I have similar characteristics as him, but in milder form, or manifesting in different skillsets: navigating visual information or mental audio playback.

I have eidetic memory and synesthesia.
Lurker2358
not rated yet Feb 23, 2012
This has caused me concentration problems in the past and severely hurts me in person both socially and at work, as it's extremely difficult to focus on ordinary tasks for me.

He also has synesthesia, and has a photographic memory on demand (or at least he's conscious of it.)

I do not, but I can play back audio from conversations where I was paying close attention, that is, once I have seen or heard something in the "hyperfocus" mode it becomes practically unforgettable. It will be the exact words, tone, inflection, tempo, etc.

In some cases, it could be difficult to distinguish memories from active thoughts.

I am currently on anxiety medicine, which has alleviated some of that.

If I'm not in the "Hyperfocus" mode, or if I'm in deep thought about something else, I might not even hear a thing they say, my sensory memory and short term memory work like that.

This is why I remember obscure facts that you don't, and then I have to go search on the internet for a video to prove it...
Lurker2358
not rated yet Feb 23, 2012
Just to give you an example, the spell check in Google Chrome browser is wrong on both "Eidetic" and "Synesthesia".

If you look it up, Eidetic memory is defined differently on dictionary dot com than what a clinical psychologist defines it, because they make a distinction between the two, whereas the dictionary definition apparently does not make any distinction.

Just for the record, on the thing with the harmonic music, where I jokingly did the Jewish Calendar year equals the speed of light calculation...

I have no idea how I knew, except that my brain somehow knew there was a very simple, instinctive relationship.

c= (3* 5771.5)^2

In meters per second.

I knew that instinctively somehow.

I then looked it up and it was exactly right.
Lurker2358
not rated yet Feb 23, 2012
Ok, let me give another example of a totally useless skill, but it's true and borderline superhuman.

You may be familiar with the old SNES game "Mega Man X".

Back when that game first came out all that time ago, I was able to commit the entire game to memory and play through it without taking damage at all, except for the case of the forced loss against the Reploid "Vile," the pink one, since "X" is required to lose as a plot device. It's possible to keep dodging and counter attacking indefinitely without getting hit, but the game won't let you advance unless you lose first. So I had to let him beat me.

The point is not that the game is hard, because it isn't.

I was able to do that due to some form of visual sensory memory. It's all pattern recognition and numbers, and my brain processes it visually and through audio.

If anything, my memory has come down significantly in the past 5 to 10 years. I know that for a fact from playing chess against the computer and online.
Lurker2358
not rated yet Feb 23, 2012
And I'll say something else here too, ghost.

I definitely don't have my family, parents, or grandparents to thank for much of anything regarding education.

I graduated high school advanced classes with a GPA of 3.1, because I spent my time in the library with a book in my hand. I honestly didn't do much homework, but I usually didn't need to. I struggled in foreign language classes, which hurt my GPA more than anything, but the way they teach languages in school is useless anyway.

At 6 years old, I was teaching my 34 year old high school drop out dad how to spell.

At 11, beating parents, grandparents, and great uncles in checkers, and card games, and they weren't throwing the game, and also about this time, trying to teach myself to program in Basic.

I wanted to learn to play chess, but didn't have anybody to teach me. I even remember asking about it as a small child, and being told, "That's too complicated." The truth is they were too lazy and stupid.
Lurker2358
not rated yet Feb 23, 2012
Now, of course, when I was a senior in high school, I was spending about 1.5 hours per day, 4 days per week, not counting Saturdays, doing Exhibition drill in JROTC. I was also doing 5 hours of cardio kickboxing and 5 hours of Ishinryu Karate training per week, so I guess there wasn't much time for studying anyway.

Considering all that, I guess 3.1 wasn't that bad after all.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Feb 24, 2012
This has caused me concentration problems in the past... as it's extremely difficult to focus on ordinary tasks for me.
So this may explain how your endless calculating might compensate for the lack of a few salient facts, such as how water freezes at sufficient depth and pressure; or your total lack of the sort of experience and training which makes the conclusions of pros in the above study even POSSIBLE?

After a dozen posts of calcs and pronouncements, someone always comes along and states a few simple facts which prove you completely wrong. And you fail to acknowledge this or learn anything from it. This happens a lot yes?
The truth is they were too lazy and stupid.
You are extremely egocentric and disconnected. Your cognition is askewed. I bet you are even smart enough to understand this.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Feb 24, 2012
I definitely don't have my family, parents, or grandparents to thank for much of anything regarding education.
Who cares Narcissus? You dont have the proper education required to to call what the people in the article did 'rubbish'. The fact that you fully believe that you do, and proceed to try and prove that in 20 or so comments full of rubbish, demonstrates this.
I was 100th percentile when I took the asvab years ago. They said they'd never seen anything like it.
And yet you will get ideas about celestial mechanics or dry ice in the antarctic without thinking that you should first research these things? THAT is a DISCONNECT. A DYSFUNCTION.

Lots of people here are wrong. Lots of people here are full of crap. But they dont post 60 posts a day of it.

And of course you were wrong to use the example of Tammett to conclude that the above article was rubbish. That is ALSO obvious.
ArtflDgr
not rated yet Feb 24, 2012
So girls are better at the kind of math having to do with shopping and trading... makes sense...

but the way its presented there is a different agenda to making the point of which its a non point.
Lurker2358
not rated yet Feb 25, 2012
such as how water freezes at sufficient depth and pressure


I already told you in the other thread I knew that, and had even considered that.

The post limit is 1000 characters, like I said, you can't put everything you want to say in a post on here.

You have a nasty habit of faulting people over omissions and claiming it is "ignorance" when it isn't.

Although you can't find it because there aren't good search tools on this site, I've mentioned exotic ices on large planets in the past.

As for this original point of this article, it's flawed in some way anyway.

Girls do better in school atmosphere because of cultural reasons.

Ten of the top 11 graduates in my class were girls, because they did all their homework and they were VERY smart, but I had a higher ACT score than most of them, and they sometimes had to ask me questions about how to do something, especially in math.

The reason I'm saying this is it's ridiculous...cont..
Lurker2358
not rated yet Feb 25, 2012
In my senior math class, the top 3 or 4 boys, and 1 girl, the Valedictorian, were bored out of our minds most of the time, while the rest of the class, including some of the top tens in the GPA, were constantly having to ask questions about how to do something.

Another thing is that, due to cultural reasons, in elementary school, teachers often favor girls over boys, and girls are better behaved in school. Girls hardly ever get in trouble in elementary, while boys are in detention or suspended or even blatantly harassed by the faculty.

In elementary, I was a year or two younger than everyone else due to my birthday, so my grades were low, and my handwriting always sucked and the teachers in elementary harass you and give you marks off in every subject just for the hell of it if you have bad handwriting, but on the standardized assessment tests I was 99%-tile. My math scores improved after we MOVED AWAY to a better school for 7th grade, which I started as 11 years old.
Lurker2358
not rated yet Feb 25, 2012
At any rate, the point is, if a boy in elementary asks a question of the teacher or a neighbor, the teacher assumes they are goofing off and gives them detention.

I remember how this went, because the sixth grade math teacher I had was so absolutely horrible that it was a joke. She couldn't even do grade averages properly, and she was the damn teacher!

It's pretty damn bad when a math teacher can't do grade averages properly, or in some cases may even have been giving girls an automatic pass, and failing the boys. It has happened a time or two in history.

So there's always something more to those numbers than just "numbers".

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