Numbers and prior knowledge in sentence comprehension.
We evaluated whether the comprehension of sentences that contained numerical information could benefit from presenting numbers in Arabic format and from using prior knowledge. Participants read sentences including numbers (Arabic digits or number words) while the comprehension accuracy was evaluated. In addition, the sentences were biased or unbiased by people’s prior knowledge about quantities. The results showed better comprehension for sentences that contained Arabic digits as compared to number words. Moreover, biased sentences were understood more accurately than unbiased sentences. These results indicate that information about magnitude in sentence context is comprehended better when quantities are presented in Arabic format and when they are associated with participants’ world knowledge.
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