British Journal of Developmental Psychology

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Volume 13 Issue 4 (November 1995), Pages 321-432

The development of subitizing in young children (pages 399-420)

Across three experiments, 2‐ to 5‐year‐old children were found to enumerate accurately and reliably small arrays of objects irrespective of spatial arrangement and at a duration (200 ms) that precluded verbal counting. These findings indicate the presence in young children of a subitizing ability that is distinct from verbal counting. Subitizing appears to develop before verbal counting. The subitizing range increased with age during early childhood from 1–3 (the accurate enumeration range of infants) to 1–5 (the subitizing range of adults). Implications of these findings for theories of the development of numerical cognition are discussed.

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