CHILDREN'S METAMEMORY FOR REPRESENTATIONAL MODE AND AGE
GOLDENBERG, SOL J.
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This study addressed the question of whether young children are aware that optimum memory performance is related to the manner in which the memory stimuli are presented. Sixty-four children divided into three groups with mean ages of 3-6, 4-9, and 7-6 years were individually presented with four pairs of line drawings. Each drawing depicted a teacher presenting items to a boy which he had to remember. The age of the boy in the picture and the mode of item presentation were varied in the drawings. Half the children were asked to judge which boy in each pair had the "easier" task and half were asked which boy had the "harder" task.;The children were also asked to judge which presentation mode would be easiest for them to use in remembering. They were then given a verbal and nonverbal list of memory items to recall. In addition, the children were asked five forced-choice questions concerning their metamemory. In a second interview, approximately two months after the first, the line drawings alone were presented to the children.;The majority of subjects were able to predict the representational mode in which they could recall the most memory items. The ability to predict one's own performance was not shown to enhance one's ability to predict the memory performance of others. Although the number of items remembered increased as a function of age, no group remembered more items in the verbal or nonverbal mode. All the children believed that the manner in which memory items are presented and the age of the rememberer affect memory ability. However, the youngest children were not sure of the precise effects of the variables. The oldest children believed that their same aged peers are better at remembering than younger children, regardless of the representational modality. None of the children appeared to be aware that the presentation mode that leads to optimum memory performance is different for children who are not their own age. It was concluded that the children are aware that representational mode and the age of the child has an effect on memory performance, but they cannot define what the effect is.
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