Article

I Remember When You Taught Me That! Preschool Children's Memories of Realistic Learning Episodes

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Abstract

This study examined whether preschool children are able to identify the source of new knowledge that they acquired in a stimulating, interactive learning context. Sixty 4- to 5-year-old children participated in two staged learning events. Several days later, children were asked questions that assessed their knowledge of factual information presented during the events. Children indicated whether they knew the answer to each question and whether they remembered the moment they learned it (i.e. had an episodic memory of the learning event), and then recalled event details. A majority of preschoolers were able to accurately identify how they had learned at least some factual information, but this ability was not consistent across children and test items. Recall of event-specific details was positively correlated with correct answers to factual questions. The results indicate that when preschool children are asked to reflect on past learning experiences that occurred in complex and realistic contexts, their source monitoring abilities are evident but not yet fully developed. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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... Memories of learning episodes may contain details of when learning occurred, who was present, and the objects, sights, sounds, or activities that were part of the experience. Recalling learning episodes has been shown to facilitate memory for the material learned in a number of different contexts (e.g., Bemis, Leichtman, & Pillemer, 2013;Martin, 1993). For example, students answering test questions often do better when they can recall details of the classes in which test-relevant facts were learned, and recalling learning episodes may extend the length of time facts are accessible, even once the episodes themselves have been forgotten (Conway, Gardiner, Perfect, Anderson, & Cohen, 1997;Martin, 1993;Nuthall & Alton-Lee, 1995). ...
... Bemis, Leichtman, and Pillemer (2011) found that 4-to 5-year-olds could provide specific memories of learning associated with their acquisition of general factual knowledge. Further, in a follow-up study, Bemis et al. (2013) taught children about the Aleutian Islands and the human visual system in similar staged learning events and found that even after a delay of 1 week, many children could provide accurate memories of their own learning. Four-year-olds' performance on this task was modest, with only 50% of children providing accurate memories in at least one of their responses. ...
... Yet, even this level of performance is surprising, given the difficulty of the task; children experienced two highly similar learning events and then were interviewed in one session, 1 week later, where they were asked not only about facts that they learned in the staged events but also about general knowledge facts that were not presented in either event. Thus, Bemis et al. (2013) contained two elements-a delay and highly similar learning events-that have each been shown in literature on episodic memory (i.e., Scarf et al., 2013), source monitoring (i.e., Tang & Bartsch, 2012), and memory binding (Darby & Sloutsky, 2015) to hinder children's recall. ...
Article
Accurately remembering how and when one's own learning occurs is an important metacognitive skill that matures during the early school years. In two studies, the impact of a delay on this ability was examined. In Study 1, 30 children in two age groups (4‐year‐olds and 5‐year‐olds) participated in two‐staged learning events and were interviewed immediately after each event about the facts they had learned in the events and about how they had acquired them. Children in both age groups learned the facts, but had significant difficulty reporting on their own learning. In Study 2, 79 children in the same age range participated in one staged learning event and were given similar interviews as in Study 1, either immediately after the event or after a 2‐ to 3‐day delay. Five‐year‐olds were more accurate in their memories of learning in the delay condition than in the immediate condition, but 4‐year‐olds showed no performance differences as a function of delay. Findings are interpreted in light of developmental literature on episodic memory, source monitoring, and memory binding. Highlights • How does a delay interval between impact children's ability to accurately recall episodic memories of their own learning? • Children completed staged learning events. Four‐ and five‐year‐olds struggled to recall instances of learning immediately, but five‐year‐olds improved after a delay. • Five‐year‐olds, but not four‐year‐olds, appear to benefit from a moderate delay when recalling learning episodes. This could be due to developments in other metacognitive skills.
... The ability to bind one piece of information to another and remember it across a delay (i.e., relational memory) is present in the first few years of life (e.g., Bemis & Leichtman, 2013). ...
... Previous research has shown that performance on relational memory tasks improves throughout childhood (Bemis & Leichtman, 2013;Drummey & Newcombe, 2002;Fandakova, Shing, & Lindenberger, 2013;Lloyd, Doydum, & Newcombe, 2009;Lorsbach & Reimer, 2005;Riggins, 2014;Scarf, Gross, Colombo, & Hayne, 2013;Yim, Dennis, & Sloutsky, 2013). For example, when tasked with remembering items, backgrounds, and item + background combinations, 4-, 6-, and 8-year-old children showed no differences in their abilities to remember items or backgrounds. ...
... This finding is particularly exciting in that it shows we can teach children strategies that make use of their earlier-developing familiarity processes (Billingsley et al., 2002;Brainerd et al., 2004;Ghetti & Angelini, 2008). As we stated in the introduction, early childhood is a period of rapid development of relational memory abilities (Bemis & Leichtman, 2013;Drummey & Newcombe, 2002;Fandakova et al., 2013;Lloyd et al., 2009;Lorsbach & Reimer, 2005;Riggins, 2014;Scarf et al., 2013;Yim et al., 2013); through the use of unitization strategies such as those in this study, we can help children succeed on these tasks while development is still occurring. ...
Article
Young children often experience relational memory failures, which are thought to result from immaturity of the recollection processes presumed to be required for these tasks. However, research in adults has suggested that relational memory tasks can be accomplished using familiarity, a process thought to be mature by the end of early childhood. The goal of the present study was to determine whether relational memory performance could be improved in childhood by teaching young children memory strategies that have been shown to increase the contribution of familiarity in adults (i.e., unitization). Groups of 6- and 8-year-old children were taught to use visualization strategies that either unitized or did not unitize pictures and colored borders. Estimates of familiarity and recollection were extracted by fitting receiver operator characteristic curves (Yonelinas, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 20, 1341–1354, 1994, Yonelinas, Memory & Cognition 25, 747–763, 1997) based on dual-process models of recognition. Bayesian analysis revealed that strategies involving unitization improved memory performance and increased the contribution of familiarity in both age groups.
... Unlike the present study, however, Sobel and Letourneau (2015) did not explicitly ask children from whom or where they learned information, only to describe how they learned in general. Bemis et al. (2011Bemis et al. ( , 2013 did explicitly ask this question, and found that children were able to answer it at much lower frequencies than what we see here for their knowledge of teaching. This suggests that children do interpret teaching as a social action, involving others, while learning can be more solitary and not necessarily reliant on others. ...
... Finally, comparing the present findings to the work by Bemis et al. (2011Bemis et al. ( , 2013 and Sobel and Letourneau (2015) suggests similar developmental trajectories for children's explicit understanding of learning and teaching. For instance, when children were asked to define learning, Sobel and Letourneau found that 42% of 4-5-year-olds and 67% of 6-7-year-olds defined learning as a process involving knowledge change, compared with 17% and 45% of children here respectively. ...
... Most children in the current study were able to give examples of what they had been taught and what they had taught someone else. Such results potentially relate to children's developing metacognitive understanding of knowledge and are consistent with various findings that suggest children develop the capacity to reflect on instances in which they have learned(Bemis et al., 2011;Bemis, Leichtman & Pillemer, 2013). This work demonstrated age-related change in children's metacognitive ability to reflect on their learning, similar to what we present here. ...
Article
A sample of 4- to 7-year-olds (N=61) defined "teaching" and described what and how others had taught them as well as what and how they had taught others. Whereas 4- and 5-year-olds were often unable to define teaching, 6- and 7-year-olds most frequently defined teaching by describing processes that could cause knowledge change. Children who held process-based definitions were more likely to offer examples of what others had taught them, to identify who had taught them, and to describe being taught through direct instruction. They were also better able to describe how they had taught others. We consider the results in light of previous interviews in which children were asked to define learning, and we discuss the implications for children's developing understanding of the connections among knowledge, learning, and teaching.
... In other words, young children's problem with recognizing new learning in past research does not appear to reflect their emergent ability for episodic memories. Our research thus resonated with Bemis, Leichtman, and Pillemer (2013) who worked with 4-and 5-year-old children using two staged learning events that occurred 4 to 5 days apart. Two to 3 days later, children reported an episodic memory of how they learned the answer in 27.8% of their responses. ...
... Perhaps our choice of tasks and the use of forced-choice question frame are especially helpful in uncovering early competence in children. Given that even our youngest 3-year-old participants performed better than chance on at least one measure across both experiments, we extended the work of Bemis et al. (2011Bemis et al. ( , 2013 by showing that children as young as 3 years could form some type of episodic memory for learning events. ...
Article
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Studying young children's reporting about when various events occurred informs about the development of episodic memory and metacognition. In two experiments, 55 3- to 5-year-old children participated in two activity sessions, a week apart. During the activity sessions, they learned novel animal facts and body movements, and they coloured animal pictures and posed for body movement photos. Immediately after the second activity session, children were interviewed about when they experienced the various events. Overall, children were as accurate about learning events as physical events, but they were more accurate when asked temporal distance (e.g. ‘Which did you learn a longer time ago, “X” or “Y”?’) than temporal location questions (e.g. ‘Which did you learn before today, “X” or “Y”?’). The results suggest that young children's apparent difficulty recognizing new learning is not due to a rapid ‘remember-to-know shift’. Rather, the way we ask young children about when they experienced various events determines their accuracy. Copyright
... Specifically, age-related improvements in source memory, defined as memory for perceptual and contextual information of an event (Johnson et al., 1993), might be particularly important in a science center context. The ability to remember the source of information improves between ages four and seven (Drummey and Newcombe, 2002;Riggins, 2014; for review, see Foley, 2014) and may facilitate recall of factual information (Bemis et al., 2013). In science center settings, children encounter a variety of sources, including both parents and experts. ...
Article
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In laboratory-based research, children recognize who is an expert and demonstrate an interest in learning from that person. However, children prefer positive information in the moment and sometimes prioritize positivity over expertise. To what extent do these social judgments (e.g., a preference for positivity) relate to information that children remember? We investigated the relation between these judgments and memory at a local science center to better understand children’s learning outcomes in naturalistic settings. We examined the extent to which 4- to 8-year-olds accepted facts about an unfamiliar animal from a zookeeper informant (i.e., expert) and a maternal figure (i.e., non-expert) when these facts were positive, negative, or neutral. Children endorsed positive information as correct, regardless of expertise, but demonstrated the strongest memory for neutral information. We discuss the implications of this dissociation for learning outcomes in naturalistic contexts as well as theoretical frameworks regarding children’s learning from others.
... Independent of age and language abilities, children's definitions of learning related to their ability to describe sources and strategies that allowed changes in their knowledge to take place. Such development is consistent with other investigations of children's understanding of learning, such as their ability to track how or from whom they learned new information [39,40] or that learning involves integrating various mental states together, and is not dependent on a single action or mental state [41]. ...
Article
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Many studies have examined children’s understanding of playing and learning as separate concepts, but the ways that children relate playing and learning to one another remain relatively unexplored. The current study asked 5- to 8-year-olds (N = 92) to define playing and learning, and examined whether children defined them as abstract processes or merely as labels for particular types of activities. We also asked children to state whether playing and learning can occur simultaneously, and examined whether they could give examples of playing and learning with attributes either congruent or incongruent with those activities. Older children were more likely to define both playing and learning in terms of abstract processes, rather than by describing particular topics or activities. Children who defined both playing and learning in this way were able to generate more examples of situations where they were simultaneously playing and learning, and were better able to generate examples of learning with characteristics of play, and examples of playing with characteristics of learning. These data suggest that children develop an understanding that learning and playing can coincide. These results are critical to researchers and educators who seek to integrate play and learning, as children’s beliefs about these concepts can influence how they reflect on playful learning opportunities.
... Furthermore, 3-year-olds struggle to remember sources of learning, particularly after a delay (Gopnik and Graf, 1988), whereas 4-and 5-year-olds can remember sources but not when something was learned (Tang and Bartsch, 2012). By the age of four, children can generate details about how their own learning takes place (Bemis et al., 2011(Bemis et al., , 2013 but their ability to conceptualize and accurately describe learning develops well into the elementary school years (Sobel and Letourneau, 2015). In an open-ended interview, Sobel and Letourneau (2015) asked 4-10-year-old children about their concept of learning. ...
Article
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Children today regularly interact with touchscreen devices (Rideout, 2013) and thousands of ?educational? mobile applications are marketed to them (Shuler, 2012). Understanding children?s own ideas about optimal learning has important implications for education, which is being transformed by electronic mobile devices, yet we know little about how children think about such devices, including what children think touchscreens are useful for. Based on a prior result that children prefer a book over a touchscreen for learning about dogs, the present study explored how children view touchscreens versus books for learning an array of different types of information. Seventy children ages 3?6 were presented with six different topics (cooking, today?s weather, trees, vacuums, Virginia, and yesterday?s football game) and chose whether a book or a touchscreen device would be best to use to learn about each topic. Some of this information was time-sensitive, like the current weather; we predicted that children would prefer a touchscreen for time-sensitive information. In addition, each child?s parent was surveyed about the child?s use of books and touchscreens for educational purposes, both at home and in school. Results indicated that younger children had no preference between books and touchscreen devices across learning tasks. However, 6-year-olds were significantly more likely to choose the touchscreen for several topics. Surprisingly, 6-year-olds chose a touchscreen device to learn about time-sensitive weather conditions, but not yesterday?s football. Children?s choices were not associated with their use of books and touchscreens at home and school.
... That is-in shortthe main goal of this study. While not a psychometric examination of the McKI tool, our focus is on developing a tool for assessing individual differences in early McK and 1 See Flavell 2004 for a comprehensive review; Wellman and Liu 2004 for validation studies of various ToM measurement for preschoolers; and Bemis et al. 2013, Lillard and Kavanaugh 2014, and Rhodes and Wellman 2013 for recent empirical studies investigating ToM in preschoolers investigating what this tool reveals about early development and variation within it (as mentioned earlier, including face validity at a broad level). Because McK specifically has been shown to be associated with enhanced academic achievement in elementary, secondary (Dinsmore et al. 2008) and college-aged (Young and Fry 2008) students, we have chosen to focus on this specific construct rather than the larger developmental concept of ToM or even Mc broadly construed. ...
Article
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Historically, early cognitive skills have been underestimated, largely as a result of the ways these competencies have been measured, which is particularly pervasive in the area of metacognition. Only recently have researchers begun to detect evidence of contextualized metacognition in 3–5 year old preschool children through the use of observational assessment tools (e.g., Whitebread et al. J Cogn Educ Psychol 3:433-455, 2007, Metacognition Learn 4:63-85, 2009). While these observational methods are a more sensitive way to capture metacognition in young children, their exclusive use may not result in a comprehensive depiction of early metacognitive competency. In the current study, we describe the development of a metacognitive knowledge interview (McKI) and what it reveals about metacognitive processes in 43 3–5 year olds (including investigating face validity). Findings indicate that the McKI (a) is a developmentally appropriate measure for 3–5 year olds, (b) is capable of eliciting articulated metacognitive knowledge when engaging in a contextualized problem-solving task, (c) shows the expected developmental trend (i.e., older children perform at a higher level and scores increased over the course of a school year), and (d) provides sufficient variation across children. Implications for future research are discussed, including the importance of using multiple measurement tools when studying early metacognitive development.
... Even the youngest children in their sample could generate details about how they learned the information, although there was significant age-related change (i.e., older children could generate more details) and differences between genders (i.e., girls generated more instances of source monitoring than boys). Bemis, Leichtman, and Pillemer (2013) followed up on this finding by first teaching 4-and 5-year-olds new pieces of information and then, in a subsequent session, examining whether those children remembered how they had learned it. They again found that even the 4-year-olds could generate accurate details about how they learned the information and, therefore, suggested that young children possessed some understanding of learning itself. ...
Thesis
In der vorliegenden experimentellen Feldstudie mit N = 105 Kindern (M = 9,81 Jahre) wurde überprüft, wie sich variierende Instruktionen, welche die Zuverlässigkeitsmotivation manipulieren, auf die Aussagegenauigkeit und Quellenidentifikationsleistung auswirken. In Weiterführung von Roebers, Moga und Schneider (2001), welche die positive Wirkung von Belohnung auf die Aussagegenauigkeit nachweisen konnten, wurde in der vorliegenden Untersuchung die Relevanz von Strafe in Kombination mit einer freien und einer forcierten Antwortbedingung untersucht. Dabei wurde verbal und bildlich präsentiertes Material in einer Originalsituation mit einer siebentägigen Latenz abgefragt. Es wurden vier Befragungsbedingungen realisiert, welche sich durch hohe oder niedrige Schwellen der Zuverlässigkeitsmotivation unterscheiden. Dies wurde über die Möglichkeit einer „Ich weiß nicht“ (IWN)-Antwortoption realisiert (Faktor FORCIERUNG). Es wird davon ausgegangen, dass damit Kooperationseffekten entgegengewirkt und das Gedächtnismonitoring erleichtert wird (Hughes & Grieve, 1980; Koriat & Goldsmith, 1996; Roebers et al., 2001). Des Weiteren wurde eine Bestrafung falscher Antworten im Sinne der operanten Konditionierung vorgenommen (Faktor STRAFE), welche die negativen Konsequenzen von Falschaussagen repräsentieren soll. Als abhängige Maße wurden die numerische Anzahl erinnerter Items im freien Bericht und traditionelle Maße der Quellenidentifikationsleistung erhoben. Es wurde festgestellt, dass durch eine obligatorische Antwort die akkuratesten Aussagen resultieren, die Bestrafung hingegen keinen Einfluss hatte. Die Bereitstellung einer IWN-Antwortoption zeigte keine positiven Effekte auf die Aussagequalität hinsichtlich Itemrekognition und Quellenidentifikation. Die Befunde stehen zunächst im Gegensatz zu den Arbeiten von Roebers et al. (2001) und legen die Vermutung nahe, dass Prozesse des Gedächtnismonitorings im Sinne von Koriat und Goldsmith (1996) bei Kindern der untersuchten Altersstufe noch nicht stattfinden. Eine weitere Erklärung zur Entstehung der inkonsistenten Ergebnisse könnte in der unvollständigen Kreuzung der Faktorstufen bei Roebers et al. (2001) zu verorten sein.
Chapter
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Book
The ability to remember unique, personal events is at the core of what we consider to be 'memory.' How does the vivid experience of reinstatement of our past emerge? What is the contribution of this experience to our life histories? These questions have intrigued psychologists, neuroscientists, and philosophers for decades, and are the subject of this volume. In recent years, the science of memory has made extraordinary progress in the conceptualization and assessment of different forms of memory. Instead of thinking of memory as a monolithic construct, memory is now thought of in terms of dissociable classes of constructs. Within declarative memory, the type of memory that one can consciously access, we make distinctions between the constructs of recollection and episodic memory and the constructs of familiarity and semantic memory (respectively). Chapters in this volume discuss new methods to assess these types of memory in studies that refine our understanding of the functions necessary for conscious and vivid recollection. The work has led to substantial increases in our understanding of the building blocks of recollection and its developmental course. The volume also addresses the exciting new research on the neural basis of recollection. Never before has the connection between brain and function been so close. Chapters review neuroimaging studies of the healthy brain and neuropsychological investigations of patients with brain damage that reveal the specific brain structures involved in the ability to recollect. These brain structures undergo important developmental change during childhood and adolescence, leading to questions-and answers-of how the relationship between brain and function unfolds during the course of infancy, childhood, and adolescence.
Chapter
This chapter examines the development of one fundamental feature of episodic recollection, namely, the capacity to bind different features of an event into an integrated representation. It distinguishes this capacity from the operation of strategies and other forms of controlled mechanisms that promote and monitor binding operations. It examines the development of binding during childhood and integrates this knowledge with a lifespan perspective and investigations with nonhuman animals. It offers comments on how binding might affect the emergence and development not only of episodic memory, but also of other faculties conceptually linked to episodic memory, such as mental travel time and imagining the future.
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Fifteen 4–5-year-old children experienced a surprise event in their classroom — the visit of their former teacher and her new baby. The same day, children were interviewed about the event by their mothers, who had not been present and were naive to details. Mothers questioned their children in whatever way they wished. Three weeks later, children were interviewed by a researcher who had not been present during the original event and who had no information about the content of the parent–child interviews. Results showed that mothers' conversational style predicted the amount of information children provided during the mother–child interview, which in turn predicted how much accurate information children remembered during the researcher–child interview. The findings suggest that parent–child memory talk affects children's long-term memory reports, even when parents do not share in the event and have no knowledge of its details.
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Three observational studies of student learning from classroom experience in science and social studies in elementary and middle school classrooms were carried out. Immediately after the administration of the short-term and long-term (12 months) achievement tests, selected students were asked to describe how they answered each item and to recall relevant learning experiences. Students reported basing their answers on recall of classroom learning experiences for 30%-50% of the items and deducing the answers from related experience and knowledge for 15%-24%. Item-answering processes were affected by length of time between learning and test administration, the nature of the topic studied, the students' background knowledge, type of learning experience, and involvement in classroom activities. A model is described that explains how students use their multilayered episodic and semantic memory for relevant learning experiences and related knowledge to answer achievement test items. Item content and structure defines the domain within which students apply complex metacognitive, retrieval, deduction, and knowledge construction skills.
Article
Fifteen 4–5-year-old children experienced a surprise event in their classroom — the visit of their former teacher and her new baby. The same day, children were interviewed about the event by their mothers, who had not been present and were naive to details. Mothers questioned their children in whatever way they wished. Three weeks later, children were interviewed by a researcher who had not been present during the original event and who had no information about the content of the parent–child interviews. Results showed that mothers' conversational style predicted the amount of information children provided during the mother–child interview, which in turn predicted how much accurate information children remembered during the researcher–child interview. The findings suggest that parent–child memory talk affects children's long-term memory reports, even when parents do not share in the event and have no knowledge of its details.
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In order to understand children’s conception of knowledge acquisition better, everyday uses of the terms “learn” and “teach” were examined. Longitudinal data obtained from CHILDES (MacWhinney & Snow, 1990) included 329 target term uses and related references by children (N=5, aged 2;4–7;3) and 431 by adults talking with them. Each reference was coded for mention of what was learned, when, how, and where learning occurred, who learned, and who taught/told, among other topics. Children and adults referred most frequently to what was learned and who learned/taught, and less frequently to when, how, and where learning occurred, a pattern that did not change as children aged. Consistent with earlier experimental reports, children talked mostly about their own learning, rarely mentioning sources of knowledge besides other people (e.g., teachers). Behavior learning was mentioned more than fact learning. Implications for characterizations of children’s developing conceptions of knowledge acquisition, for past and future experimental research, and for education were discussed.
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Eighty 4- to 9-year-old children answered factual knowledge questions in math, science and social studies during one-on-one interviews. Children indicated whether they had known or guessed each answer, and whether they (a) remembered the moment they learned the answer (episodic response) or (b) did not remember. For episodic responses, children provided memory narratives of learning episodes. One third of children's responses identified a learning episode. There was a developmental trend in which older children were more episodic than younger children, and when children knew and provided correct answers, there was a gender difference in which females were more episodic than males. Developmental and gender differences in the characteristics of memory narratives were also apparent. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Young children's understanding of the sources of their beliefs was investigated. 3, 4, and 5-year-olds learned about the contents of a drawer in 3 different ways: they saw the contents, were told about them, or inferred their identity from a clue. Children were then asked, immediately and after a brief delay, how they knew about the contents of the drawer. 3-year-olds had difficulty identifying the sources of their knowledge, while 5-year-olds did not. Moreover, even 3-year-olds who could correctly identify the source immediately had difficulty remembering the source after a delay. Explicit training in identifying sources did not improve the 3-year-olds' performance. These results support the hypothesis that children learn about the causal relation between the world and the mind between 3 and 5 years of age.
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Young children often absorb the information they are taught without being aware they are learning something new. In two experiments, we tested the hypothesis that children are more aware of transitions in their own knowledge that involve changes in behavior than transitions that involve changes in vocabulary or general knowledge. In Experiment 1, 4- and 5-year-olds were taught a variety of new facts and new behaviors. In Experiment 2, 4-year-olds heard stories under two conditions: In one condition, the emphasis was on behaviors (e.g., how to count in Japanese), whereas in the other condition, the information was essentially the same, but the emphasis was on vocabulary (e.g., the meaning of Japanese counting words). Overall children tended to report they had learned something new when the novel information was behavioral and tended to claim prior knowledge of the novel information when it was factual. These results are consistent with Perner's (1991) claim that young children initially have a behavioral understanding of knowledge acquisition.
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College alumnae who had graduated 2, 12, or 22 years earlier completed questionnaires in which they recounted the first four memories to come to mind of their freshman year and provided ratings of each remembered experience. For all three alumnae groups, the temporal distribution of memories peaked in September, the beginning of college. Mean ratings of emotional intensity were high, mean ratings of surprise and life impact were below the moderate level and substantial numbers of memories had never been recounted previously. The proportion of memories that focused on specific episodes rather than on general experiences decreased as the number of years since graduation increased. The incidence of specific memories also declined as a function of memory order: Memories reported first were more likely to be specific than memories reported later. The results suggest that transitional and emotional episodes are especially likely to persist in memory for many years. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Studies of both source monitoring and suggestibility show substantial individual differences among children. The authors conducted 3 experiments to examine the relationship between source monitoring and suggestibility performance in young children. 24 4-yr-old children participated in the 1st experiment, and the results indicate that there was considerable variation in children's performance on each source-monitoring task. Exp 1 provides support for the hypothesis that performance on some tasks involving source monitoring was predictive of performance on a suggestibility task in a small sample of preschool children. 45 children (aged 3–5 yrs) participated in Exp 2, and results show that each source-monitoring measure was significantly related to each of the 2 measure of suggestibility. In Exp 3, 36 3–4 yr olds and 36 5–6 yr olds participated, and during the final questioning period, 5-yr-olds recalled a significantly greater number of original items and their associated sources than 3-yr-olds. The results show that as a group, 3-yr-olds were highly vulnerable to suggestion, equally often reporting the misleading information that had been suggested to them as the original item information. In addition, 3-yr-olds were poor at identifying the sources of the items in question. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
In this study, we examined relations among gender, self-concept and children's autobio-graphical narratives. Twenty-two white middle-class children 8 years of age (50% female) were administered the Children's Self-View Questionnaire (CSVQ). In addition, children were asked to recall a speci®c experience associated with each of the nine self-concept dimensions assessed by the CSVQ, including Achievement, Alienation, and Social Closeness. Consistent with pre-vious research with adults, girl's autobiographical narratives were longer, more coherent and more detailed than were boys' narratives. Girls were also more likely to place their auto-biographical narratives in a social context, to refer to more aliative themes, and to mention more people and more emotions than were boys. In all these ways, girls' narratives were more socially contexted and relational than were those of boys. However, no relations were found between speci®c dimensions of self-understanding and children's autobiographical narratives. Theoretical implications of these ®ndings are discussed. # 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Children's attention to knowledge-acquisition events was examined in 4 experiments in which children were taught novel facts and subsequently asked how long they had known the new information. In Experiment 1, 4- and 5-year-olds tended to claim they had known novel animal facts for a long time and also reported that other children would know the novel facts. This finding was replicated in Experiment 2, using facts associated with chemistry demonstrations. In Experiments 3 and 4, children were taught new color words. 5-year-olds, but not 4-year-olds, distinguished between novel and familiar color words, reporting they had not known the novel words before the test session, but they had always known the familiar words. 4-year-olds in Experiment 4 were better able to distinguish novel and familiar color words when the teaching of the novel words was an explicit and salient part of the procedure.
Article
Remembering how one learned a fact can be important in itself (e.g. for considering the value of information). However, source memory is also important, along with the temporal and perceptual information on which it is based, in giving memory an episodic or autobiographical quality. The present study investigated developmental changes in children’s ability to monitor source, in a paradigm adapted from Schacter, Harbluk and McLachlan (1984). This task, unlike previous source monitoring tasks used with children, has the potential to show the existence of a serious kind of source error called source amnesia. Children of 4, 6 and 8 years participated. They also completed measures believed to assess prefrontal function. Children showed a steady improvement with age in their ability to remember facts, but showed abrupt improvement between 4 and 6 years in their ability to monitor the source of those facts. Most notably, 4–year–old children displayed a great deal of source amnesia (i.e. errors of the kind committed by populations with frontal dysfunction), but 6– and 8–year–old children showed very few such errors. In addition, source memory was related, in some analyses although not in others, to behavioral measures often used to assess prefrontal functioning. The timing of the transition in source monitoring ability is discussed, including implications for childhood amnesia.
Article
What young children remember and how long they retain such information are crucial issues for the study of young children's memory. In this research, these issues were examined by asking children who visited Disneyworld at 37 or 49 months of age to recall their experience. Half of the children were interviewed 6 months after their trip, and the remaining children were interviewed after 18 months. Surprisingly, there were no effects for age or retention interval on the amount children recalled; all children recounted a great deal of accurate information about their Disneyworld experience. However, older children's reports were more detailed than younger children's, and older children tended to recall more information spontaneously than did younger children. Finally, there is some suggestion that children who talked about their Disneyworld experience more frequently with their families subsequently recounted more information during the memory interview. Implications for these findings are discussed.
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The authors review competing theories concerning the emergence and early development of autobiographical memory. It is argued that the differences between these accounts, although important, may be more apparent than real. The crux of these disagreements lies not in what processes are important, but rather, the role these different processes play in the emergence of autobiographical memory and the temporal primacy of these controlling variables. These differences are explored theoretically and then extant as well as new data are brought to bear on these issues. What emerges is a new, more inclusive, multifactorial framework that integrates the controlling variables from diverse perspectives providing a more complete account of the beginnings of autobiographical memory.
Article
Children's attention to knowledge-acquisition events was examined in 4 experiments in which children were taught novel facts and subsequently asked how long they had known the new information. In Experiment 1, 4- and 5-year-olds tended to claim they had known novel animal facts for a long time and also reported that other children would know the novel facts. This finding was replicated in Experiment 2, using facts associated with chemistry demonstrations. In Experiments 3 and 4, children were taught new color words. 5-year-olds, but not 4-year-olds, distinguished between novel and familiar color words, reporting they had not known the novel words before the test session, but they had always known the familiar words. 4-year-olds in Experiment 4 were better able to distinguish novel and familiar color words when the teaching of the novel words was an explicit and salient part of the procedure.
Article
A framework for understanding source monitoring and relevant empirical evidence is described, and several related phenomena are discussed: old-new recognition, indirect tests, eyewitness testimony, misattributed familiarity, cryptomnesia, and incorporation of fiction into fact. Disruptions in source monitoring (e.g., from confabulation, amnesia, and aging) and the brain regions that are involved are also considered, and source monitoring within a general memory architecture is discussed. It is argued that source monitoring is based on qualities of experience resulting from combinations of perceptual and reflective processes, usually requires relatively differentiated phenomenal experience, and involves attributions varying in deliberateness. These judgments evaluate information according to flexible criteria and are subject to error and disruption. Furthermore, diencephalic and temporal regions may play different roles in source monitoring than do frontal regions of the brain.
Article
Research to date has paid remarkably little heed to gender differences in autobiographical memory. To redress this, the author examined memory for childhood events in adult men and women remembering back to childhood, and in children themselves. Five studies were conducted, and results revealed that females consistently recalled more childhood memories than males did and were generally faster in accessing the memories recalled. Furthermore, the gender difference observed was specific to memories of events associated with emotion and was apparent across a diverse range of emotions experienced by both the self and others. The overall pattern of findings obtained is consistent with the proposition that gender-differentiated socialization processes influence the content and complexity of representations of autobiographical emotional events in memory. To some extent, then, autobiographical memory appears to be a socially constructed phenomenon.
Article
We examined children's ability to translate their preverbal memories into language following a period of substantial language development. Children participated in a unique event, and their memory was assessed 6 months or 1 year later. At the time of the event and at the time of the test, their language skills were also assessed. Children of all ages exhibited evidence of verbal and nonverbal memory. Their language skills also improved over the delay. By the time of the test, children of all ages had acquired most of the vocabulary necessary to describe the target event. Despite this, they did not translate preverbal aspects of their memory into language during the test. In no instance did a child verbally report information about the event that was not part of his or her productive vocabulary at the time of encoding. We conclude that language development plays a pivotal role in childhood amnesia.
Article
In the present experiment, age-related changes in verbal and nonverbal memory performance by 2- to 4-year-old children were assessed. All children participated in the same unique event, and their memory of that event was assessed after a 24-hr delay. Overall, children's performance on each memory measure increased as a function of age. Furthermore, children's performance on both the verbal and nonverbal memory tests was related to their language ability; children with more advanced language skills reported more during the verbal interview and exhibited superior nonverbal memory relative to children with less advanced language skills. Finally, children's verbal recall of the event lagged behind both their nonverbal recall and their general verbal skill. It is hypothesized that despite large strides in language acquisition. preschool-age children continue to rely primarily on nonverbal representations of past events. The findings have important implications for the phenomenon of childhood amnesia.
Article
Older adults provided oral life histories in a semi-structured interview format. The transcribed narratives were coded for the presence of specific, one-moment-in-time episodes. Participants differed systematically in the degree to which their narratives were marked by descriptions of specific events. Women's memory styles were markedly more specific or episodic than were men's styles. Participants' ratings of the ways that they use memory in daily life suggest that women place a greater value on purposeful reminiscence than do men.
Article
Initial research on maternal reminiscing style established clear and consistent individual differences that vary along a dimension of maternal elaboration and that are related to children's developing autobiographical skills. More recent research has linked maternal elaborative reminiscing to strategic memory development, language and literacy skills, developing attachment relationships, and understanding of self, other, and mind. In this review, this research is placed in theoretical context by arguing for the critical role of reminiscing in developmental process and outcome.
Article
Parents' goal orientations in parent-child reminiscing were examined in this study, where 28 preschoolers (mean age = 46 months) experienced a standardized event. Dyads discussed the event that evening, with parents randomly assigned to either an "outcome-oriented" or a "process-oriented" condition. Outcome-oriented parents, who were told that children subsequently would be tested on event-related recall, were more controlling in these conversations compared with process-oriented parents, who were told that children's personal perspective would be assessed. Parents did not differ in their provision of structure. Children were interviewed 2 weeks later. Autonomy support in the parent-child conversation predicted children's engagement in the interview. Parental structure predicted children's recall of details and the coherence of their memories. Effects of parental reminiscing styles for children's memory and motivation to reminisce are discussed.
DOI: 10.1002/icd Young children's talk about learning events
  • R H Bemis
R. H. Bemis et al. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Inf. Child. Dev. 22: 603–621 (2013) DOI: 10.1002/icd R. H. Bemis et al. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Inf. Child. Dev. 22: 603–621 (2013) DOI: 10.1002/icd REFERENCES Bartsch, K., Horvath, K., & Estes, D. (2003). Young children's talk about learning events. Cognitive Development, 18, 177–193.
Sex differences favoring women in verbal but not in visuospatial episodic memory
  • Lewin