# Charles FitzsimmonsUniversity of North Florida | UNF · Department of Psychology

Charles Fitzsimmons

Ph.D. Psychological Science

## About

21

Publications

1,599

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100

Citations

Citations since 2016

## Publications

Publications (21)

Visual displays, such as icon arrays and risk ladders, are often used to communicate numerical health information. Number lines improve reasoning with rational numbers but are seldom used in health contexts. College students solved ratio problems related to COVID-19 (e.g., number of deaths and number of cases) in one of four randomly assigned condi...

Rational numbers (i.e., fractions, percentages, decimals, and whole-number frequencies) are notoriously difficult mathematical constructs. Yet correctly interpreting rational numbers is imperative for understanding health statistics, such as gauging the likelihood of side effects from a medication. Several pernicious biases affect health decision-m...

Math performance is negatively related to math anxiety (MA), though MA may impact certain math skills more than others. We investigated whether the relation between MA and math performance is affected by task features, such as number type (e.g., fractions, whole numbers, percentages), number format (symbolic vs. non-symbolic), and ratio component s...

Children display an early sensitivity to implicit proportions (e.g., 1 of 5 apples vs. 3 of 4 apples), but have considerable difficulty in learning the explicit, symbolic proportions denoted by fractions (e.g., "1/5" vs. "3/4"). Theoretically, reducing the gap between representations of implicit versus explicit proportions would improve understandi...

The advent of COVID-19 highlighted widespread misconceptions regarding people's accuracy in interpreting quantitative health information. How do people judge whether they accurately answered health-related math problems? Which individual differences predict these item-by-item metacognitive monitoring judgments? How does a brief intervention targeti...

Rational numbers (i.e., fractions, percentages, decimals, and whole-number frequencies) are notoriously difficult mathematical constructs. Yet, correctly interpreting rational numbers is imperative for understanding health statistics, such as gauging the likelihood of side effects from a medication. Several pernicious biases impact health decision...

Magnitude understanding and metacognition are important in life and for academic achievement. In two studies, we examined children’s and adults’ metacognitive awareness of their whole-number and fraction magnitude estimates. There were few differences between grades or numerical ranges in third through fifth graders’ (8–12-year-olds’) and adults’ (...

At the onset of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) global pandemic, our interdisciplinary team hypothesized that a mathematical misconception-whole number bias (WNB)-contributed to beliefs that COVID-19 was less fatal than the flu. We created a brief online educational intervention for adults, leveraging evidence-based cognitive science research, t...

Background:
People report negative attitudes towards fractions and percentages relative to whole numbers (WNs, Sidney, Thompson, Fitzsimmons, & Taber, 2021), and these attitudes may relate to an individual's interpretation of what experiences with these number types signify. Because fractions are challenging, individual differences related to beli...

People frequently encounter numeric information in medical and health contexts. In this paper, we investigated the math factors that are associated with decision-making accuracy in health and non-health contexts. This is an important endeavor given that there is relatively little cross-talk between math cognition researchers and those studying heal...

Visual displays, such as icon arrays and risk ladders, are often used to communicate numerical health information. Number lines improve reasoning with rational numbers but are seldom used in health contexts. College students compared rates for information related to COVID-19 (e.g., number of deaths and number of cases) in one of four randomly-assig...

Prior research has found gender differences in spatial tasks in which men perform better, and are more confident, than women. Do gender differences also occur in people’s confidence as they perform number-line estimation, a common spatial-numeric task predictive of math achievement? To investigate this question, we analyzed outcomes from six studie...

We investigated whether three interventions – studying incorrect worked examples, studying correct worked examples, or receiving feedback – improved children’s 0–1,000 (Experiment 1) and adults’ 1 thousand–1 billion (Experiment 2) number-line estimation precision relative to a no intervention control group. At pretest, participants estimated number...

Prior research has found gender differences in spatial tasks in which men perform better, and are more confident, than women. Do gender differences also occur in people’s confidence as they perform number-line estimation, a common spatial-numeric task predictive of math achievement? To investigate this question, we analyzed outcomes from six studie...

Understanding fraction magnitudes is important for achievement and in daily life. However, adults' fraction reasoning sometimes appears to reflect whole number bias and other times reflects accurate reasoning. In the current experiments, we examined how contextual factors and individual differences in executive functioning (Experiment 1), knowledge...

Understanding fraction magnitudes is especially important in daily life, but fraction reasoning is quite difficult. To accurately reason about fraction magnitudes, adults need to monitor what they know and what they do not know. However, little is known about which cues adults use to monitor fraction performance. Across two studies, we examined adu...

At the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic, our interdisciplinary team hypothesized that a mathematical misconception--whole number bias (WNB)--contributed to incorrect beliefs that COVID-19 was less fatal than the flu. We created a novel, five-minute online educational intervention, leveraging evidence-based cognitive science research, to encour...

People’s attitudes toward mathematics are multifaceted. Across four studies, we found that children and adults have different attitudes about mathematics when asked specifically about whole numbers, as opposed to fractions. The vast majority of children and adults reported negative attitudes toward fractions despite having positive attitudes toward...

## Projects

Project (1)

This project examines whether children and adults can accurately judge their math performance, the cues they use to make judgements about their performance, factors that influence their judgements, and whether they rely on their metacognition to make control decisions like ask for help.