Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Time required for Judgements of Numerical Inequality


AN educated adult can tell which of two digits is the larger with virtually no uncertainty. By what process is this accomplished ? On the one hand, it is conceivable that such judgements are made in the same way as judgements of stimuli varying along physical continua. On the other hand, numerical judgements may be made at a different, less perceptual and more cognitive, level. For instance, the task may be one of memory access, each possible pair of numerals being stored with a corresponding inequality sign ; or perhaps some sort of digital computation is performed, such as counting the space between the two numerical values.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Hemmon, V. A. C., Arch. Phil. Psychol. Sci. Meth., No. 8 (1906); Festinger, L., J. Exp. Psychol., 32, 291 (1943).

    Google Scholar 

  2. Lemmon, V. W., Arch. Psychol., 15, No. 94 (1927).

  3. Welford, A. T., Ergonomics, 3, 189 (1960).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

MOYER, R., LANDAUER, T. Time required for Judgements of Numerical Inequality. Nature 215, 1519–1520 (1967).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing