Distinctiveness effects in children's long-term retention

Vernescu, Roxana M. (1999) Distinctiveness effects in children's long-term retention. Masters 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

The bizarre imagery effect (BIE) was examined in children's long-term retention, as a manipulation of distinctiveness. In a mixed-list, free recall design kindergartners and Grade 2 children were presented with bizarre and common interactions of objects they were to remember. Toys were used to act out these interactions during acquisition. Children's recall was tested following a three-week retention interval. Main effects of grade and gender emerged at acquisition, but no significant item effect. As expected, 2nd graders made fewer errors at acquisition than kindergartners, but surprisingly, boys made fewer errors than girls. A 2 (item: C vs. B) x 2 (grade: K vs. 2) x 2 (gender: boys vs. girls) x 4 (trial) analysis of covariance was used for long-term retention analyses. Main effects of grade, item, and trial emerged, indicating that 2nd graders made fewer errors at retention than kindergartners, all children made fewer errors on the bizarre than common items, and errors declined across the 4 retention test trials. A significant Item x Trial interaction also emerged with bizarre items enjoying fewer errors across trials. Trace-integrity model analyses revealed an age difference. The primary effect of distinctiveness was found to be at reminiscence for kindergarten children, facilitating both storage- and retrieval-based parameters. A similar pattern was seen for 2nd graders, who, in addition, enjoyed a reduction in retrieval-based forgetting. That is, bizarre/distinctive items were much less likely to have a retrieval-based forgetting component over common items, for this age group. It is concluded that not only does the BIE arise in younger ages, but developmentally, this effect seems to increase both quantitatively (probability of storage-based reminiscence doubled between kindergarten and Grade 2) and qualitatively (Grade 2 children also benefited from distinctiveness in terms of retrieval-based forgetting).

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/761
Item ID: 761
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 66-73.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 1999
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Long-term memory; Memory in children; Recollection (Psychology)

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