Deconstructing the Cognitive Estimation Task: A Developmental Examination and Intra-Task Contrast

Sarit Silverman*, Sarit Ashkenazi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The cognitive estimation task (CET) requires participants to answer estimation questions that lack definitive answers. Few studies examine CET performance in healthy populations, and even fewer in children. Previous research has not considered differences between categories within the CET. The categories differ in their reliance on units of measurement, which is significant when examining CET performance in children due to educational factors. The goal of the study was to examine CET performance in 10 and 12 year-old children and contrast the CET categories. We found a developmental effect in overall CET performance: children's performance was more extreme than adults but no differences were found between the groups of children. Examination of the CET categories revealed differential developmental trajectories: The children's scores were more extreme in weight and time, while comparable to adults in quantity. We conclude that CET questions that require application of units of measurement are more difficult for childern due to higher involvement of executive functions, and children have less experience applying them in daily life. The CET is not a unified construct and has the potential to shed light on how children acquire an understanding of magnitudes and units of measurement.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number39316
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 19 Dec 2016


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