The notions of chance and probabilities in preschoolers

Nikiforidou, Zoi and Pange, Jenny (2010) The notions of chance and probabilities in preschoolers. Early Childhood Education Journal, 38 (4). pp. 305-311. ISSN 1082-3301

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Chance, randomness and probability constitute statistical notions that are interrelated and characterize the logicomathematical thinking of children. Traditional theories support that probabilistic thinking evolves after the age of 7. However, recent research has underlined that children, as young as 4, may possess and develop basic notions, through mental mechanisms and/or through intuitive processes. In the current study, preschoolers (N = 200) aged 4–6, participated in two diverse probability tasks related to the likelihood of events and the graphical representation of randomness. The aim of this study was to test whether children, at this young age, have the ability to predict the most probable outcome in a probabilistic game with animal cards and whether they can mark symbols randomly distributed in a 5 × 5 matrix. Preschoolers infered correctly the most likely outcome and showed a minimal understanding of randomness by preferring the uniform rather than random distribution of items. Such findings have both methodological and educational implications for further research as already the notions of chance and probabilities are integrated in Preschool Mathematics Curricula worldwide.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: The final publication is available at
Keywords: Preschoolers, Notion of chance and randomness, Probabilistic games
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Early Childhood
Depositing User: Users 4 not found.
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2014 08:48
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2015 10:15

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