Numerical Estimation in Deaf and Hearing Adults

Rebecca Bull, Marc Marschark, Patty Sapere, Wendy A Davidson, Derek Murphy, Emily Nordmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Deaf students often lag behind hearing peers in numerical and mathematical abilities. Studies of hearing children with mathematical difficulties highlight the importance of estimation skills as the foundation for formal mathematical abilities, but research with adults is limited. Deaf and hearing college students were assessed on the Number-to-Position task as a measure of estimation, and completed standardised assessments of arithmetical and mathematical reasoning. Deaf students performed significantly more poorly on all measures, including making less accurate number-line estimates. For deaf students, there was also a strong relationship showing that those more accurate in making number-line estimates achieved higher scores on the math achievement tests. No such relationship was apparent for hearing students. Further insights into the estimation abilities of deaf individuals should be made, including tasks that require symbolic and non-symbolic estimation and which address the quality of estimation strategies being used.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-457
Number of pages5
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Issue number4
Early online date21 Feb 2011
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


  • Deaf
  • Estimation
  • Mathematics
  • Number-line


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