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PSYC 352
Jeannette Benson

Summary Part 3 Infant Memory: Some Evidence - Habituation - Recognition - Imitation - Object permanence Rovee-Collier and Hayne, 1987 - 2 month olds - Operant conditioning - Infants foot tied to a mobile - Retain knowledge for a day or two (kick more even if no longer tied) - Can remember initially established contingency Changes Over Time: Infancy - Language plays a key role - Cant be explicitly aware of our memories if we dont have the language needed to encode them - Mobile Kicking = explicit, another example is cortical maturation; hippocampus develops at end of first year Scripts - Scripts = a generalized, abstract, temporally and spatially organized representation of a sequence of events about some common routine with a goal - Scaffolding for forming memories - Background knowledge that facilitates memory Changes over Time: Talking about the Past - 18 Months: first start to refer to past o Usually refer to just-completed actions o Interpreted/framed by adults - 20-24 Months: more extended references, some distant past - 2-2.5 Years: can verbally convey thoughts about past, through adult prompts and questions - 3 Years: extended and reasonable accounts for their experiences Autobiographical Memory - Autobiographical memory = explicit memory for specific points in the past, recalled from the unique perspective of the self in relation to others - Emerges in preschool years - Good for distinctive events - Linked to sense of self - Adults teach them how and what to remember - Culturally specific: American children > Asian children Maternal Reminiscing Style - Elaborative style = mother elaborates on childrens partial recall, asks further questions to flush out the childs memory, and corrects the childs memory if necessary o Ask more specific questions and prompt for more detail - Repetitive style = mothers tend to ask the same questions repeatedly, switch topics frequently, and fail to elaborate on the childs contribution - The way that parents structure conversations about past events with their preschool children has strong and enduring influences on how children come to construct their own narrative history - Children of repetitive mothers tend to recall less and have less organized memories Eyewitness Testimony - Quite good memory for long periods of time - 4 year olds accurately report events from before 2.5 years - By age 5 can store memory for up to 6 years - If test involves re-enactment even 2 year olds are good at remembering Questions Situations 1) Open-Ended Questions - i.e. Tell me everything that happened in the trailer - children typically report less than adults - BUT what they report appears to be just as accurate as adults (at least from 5 years and up) - Children dont typically make up sexual incidents (this is true even when anatomically correct dolls are used) 2) Leading Questions - I.e. He took your clothes off, didnt he? or He had a moustache and a hat on, right? - Show more evidence of confusion and bias in childrens answers - Susceptibility to leading questions reduces with age (i.e. 4-year-olds are more susceptible than 7-year-olds) Susceptibility to Misinformation - Ceci et al., 1987 - Recall of Significant, Fearful, Pain-Inducing Events: Research? o Hard to study in an ethical fashion o One way: look at trips to the doctor or dentist - Goodman et al. (1987) o 3 to 6 year olds memory for receiving inoculations o Recall was good, generally o Participants more willing to accept erroneous info about peripheral details, rather than central info; this improved with age o Children never made up false stories of abuse, even when asked questions that might encourage such reports o Children actually tended NOT to report sexual content of exams, unless asked specific questions o Very rarely neutral experiences, maybe memories for these emotional experiences is different than neutral experiences o Hard to conduct research on children's memory of these events, unethical to induce these experiences o Look at memory for non-life threatening emotional events that are already in the child's life o DOCTOR and DENTIST: can involve pain and fear o The error children are most prone to are not reporting events that did occur (NOT making things up) o Can give in to leading questions (more likely than adults) but not on a regular basis - Child Testimony: Weaknesses o Forming scripts for recurring abusive events o With repeated questions children may change their answer because they are pressured to give the right answer o More likely to make errors of omission than commission Eyewitness Testimony: Summary - Even young preschoolers can provide highly accurate memory reports, unless adults use suggestive questioning techniques o Children rarely appear to make up memories about abuse o Children are much more likely to make errors of omission, rather than commission - Adults who question children need to be careful to: o Separate specific events from scripted knowledge o Avoid misleading questions/information o Beware of repeated questioning scenarios (first reports more likely to be true!) The Influence of Knowledge on Memory 1) Content Knowledge - Knowledge powerfully influences what we store in and retrieve from memory o i.e. child (expert) vs. adult (novice) chess players - Domain specific - More semantic knowledge child, the better they are at remembering related things o Familiarity with items helps in recall o Associations between concepts help with clustering and categorizing- make remembering easier - Adults better at remembering because we have more knowledge 2) Constructive Memory - During memory storage, we disregard some features of the input, highlight others, integrate, reorganize and even add info not actually present in the input - Similarly, memory retrieval is a process of active reconstruction - We disregard some features, add new info and highlight some aspects of input when forming and recalling memories - Subject, representational process - Hard to tell later during recall what was constructed ** Inferential questions: can be answered using stored knowledge of the world and reasoning abilities Script Knowledge: A Help and a Hindrance - Scripts facilitate storage BUT can hinder recall because memories become assimilated with a script and are no longer distinct o Kids usually recall atypical actions quite well on immediate recall, but after a delay the script info intrudes; specific episode becomes normalized to the script - Farrar and Goodman (1990) o Processing Script Consistent Info: more effortful for kids- still developing scripts themselves o Processing Script In-Consistent Info: young kids may not have cognitive resources left for this step o **Adults have a stronger script knowledge so it requires less resources for them to make it to the second step. Children find the first step too effortful to make it to the 2 . o As we grow and learn more and more things, makes it easier to remember new (inconsistent) events Metamemory: Understanding Memories - Metamemory = understanding what memory is, how it works and what factors influence its functioning - Two Types 1) Understanding Memory Itself - Preschool: form primitive concepts of remembering and forgetting - Older kids understand their limitations, younger kids greatly overestimate themselves o When shown pictures and asked whether theyd be able to remember them - Learn that task difficulty depends on nature of info and retrieval demands o In grade school children know that its easier to retell a story in their own words vs. verbatim - Ex. Shown pictures and asked whether theyd be able to recall it - Strategy Understanding: Beal (1985) o 4 and 5 year olds o Children needed to remember location of a penny under 4 cups o 40% thought hiding a paperclip under the cup with the penny would help o Kids dont understand that cues need to be seen in order to help recall - Example: Kreutzer et al. 1975 o Asked kids: What do you do when you want to remember a phone number? o Third-grader (8-year old) response: o Shows some pretty sophisticated intuitions about the nature of memory by this age! o Children are aware of memory strategies and know that they are related to recall 2) Metacognitive Self-Monitoring and Regulation - Self-monitoring = involves knowing where you are with respect to your goal of understanding and remembering material o By age 4, kids are aware of tip of the tongue states o Elementary school kids are better than presch
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