Knowledge base and children's long-term retention

Clark, Sandra Lynn (1993) Knowledge base and children's long-term retention. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Much of the knowledge base research has provided evidence to show that children's memory performance is facilitated when they have a well integrated and large body of knowledge. Unfortunately, much of this research has focused on acquisition, but not long-term retention processes, although both of these processes are important in everyday cognition. In this dissertation, I investigated if the facilitory effects of changes in children's knowledge (specifically, structural changes) on acquisition processes also occur for long-term retention processes. -- The purpose of the first experiment was to determine the nature of the structure of knowledge for children of different ages and levels of expertise. This study provided stimulus materials to investigate the relationship between changes in knowledge structure and memory processes in the second experiment. In the first experiment, 213 children (ages 6 to 14) with soccer expertise (Experiment IA) and 29 children (ages 7 to 13) with tennis expertise (Experiment IB) generated a story in their area of expertise. The results showed that there are age- and expertise-related changes in the structure of knowledge. -- In Experiment II, 93 subjects (44 8-year olds, 49 11-year olds) with either low or high expertise in soccer memorized one of two domain-related stories, then after a 4-week retention interval, recalled the story. One story reflected the knowledge structure of low experts (poor storytype), the other reflected the knowledge structure of high experts (good storytype). The results of this study showed that at acquisition, children had better recall for the story consistent with their current level of knowledge elaboration. More importantly, at long-term retention, performance was better for children with well elaborated knowledge (high in expertise), compared to children with less elaborated knowledge (low in expertise). -- Taken together, this dissertation research indicated that first, developmental differences in the structure of knowledge are not minimized for experts in a particular domain. Second, this research suggested that the influence of knowledge on memory performance is different for acquisition and long-term retention processes. The influence of knowledge on memory performance was greater for the initial acquisition than the Ion- -term retention of information. Further, for long-term retention, the effects of knowledge varied depending on whether performance decrements (forgetting) or increments (hypermnesia) were measured. The findings were discussed with respect to the nature of the relationship between knowledge factors and both memory acquisition and long-term retention processes.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1101
Item ID: 1101
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 108-122.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 1993
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Memory in children

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