Fuzzy trace theory and the development of interference in recognition and recall.
AuthorKneer, Ryan Taylor.
Committee ChairBrainerd, Charles
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study addressed the free recall and recognition memory processes of elementary school children. It has been discovered that when children recall items from episodically related collections, a non-monotonic relationship is found between the memory strengths of those items and the order in which they are recalled. This relationship is known as cognitive triage, and it is not understood if the same phenomena would occur with recall involving semantic memory. Regarding recognition memory, experiments have tapped children's tendency to falsely remember words whose gist is the same as the gist of newly learned items. These past studies have focused primarily on a reversal of the standard false-recognition effect, where related distractors were easier to reject than unrelated distractors under some conditions. No research to date has ignored reversals and clearly examined the false-recognition effect itself. This study examined kindergarten, third, and sixth grade children's free recall organization and false-recognition of related distractors. The cognitive triage experiment examined semantic memory through having children recall exemplars from categories in Battig and Montague's (1969) lists. The recognition experiment examined developmentally the differential rate of false-recognition for related and unrelated distractors. Fuzzy Trace Theory (FTT) contends that the ability to inhibit interference increases with age. Hence, younger children were hypothesized to show a weaker cognitive triage effect and more false-recognition than older children. The latter result was found, whereas the former result was not. False-recognition did decrease with age but although a triage effect was observed for category exemplar production, the effect did not vary developmentally. The principle difference between this triage study and previous research is that lists offering preexperimental measures of memory strength were employed. These lists were normed on adults and therefore cognitive triage may have been different for children. Thus, this study indicates that developmental effects are found for false-recognition of related distractors but not for category exemplar production when using Battig and Montague's (1969) lists.
Degree ProgramEducational Psychology