Are Arabic and Verbal Numbers Processed in Different Ways?

Roi Cohen Kadosh, Avishai Henik, Orly Rubinsten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Four experiments were conducted in order to examine effects of notation-Arabic and verbal numbers-on relevant and irrelevant numerical processing. In Experiment 1, notation interacted with the numerical distance effect, and irrelevant physical size affected numerical processing (i.e., size congruity effect) for both notations but to a lesser degree for verbal numbers. In contrast, size congruity had no effect when verbal numbers were the irrelevant dimension. In Experiments 2 and 3, different parameters that could possibly affect the results, such as discriminability and variability (Experiment 2) and the block design (Experiment 3), were controlled. The results replicated the effects obtained in Experiment 1. In Experiment 4, in which physical size was made more difficult to process, size congruity for irrelevant verbal numbers was observed. The present results imply that notation affects numerical processing and that Arabic and verbal numbers are represented separately, and thus it is suggested that current models of numerical processing should have separate comparison mechanisms for verbal and Arabic numbers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1377-1391
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabic number
  • automaticity
  • numerical processing
  • size congruity
  • verbal number

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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