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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Development of memory for narratives : effects of encoding variability and age White, William B.


Recall of narrative content was studied in a sample of 170 children ranging from 5 to 11 years of age. Age range was divided into three equal intervals. The children within each interval were randomly assigned to four encoding conditions (symbolic, iconic, enactive, and symbolic-rehearsal) so that any effects of interactions between age-affected cognitive capacities and different encoding conditions could be gauged at 30 seconds and one week (after encoding). Between-ages (within condition) and between conditions (within age) comparisons revealed that age increase was generally, though not uniformly, accompanied by significant recall advantage. Analyses revealed that effects of different encoding conditions were sufficiently variable across the ages that age advantage was diminished when free recall performances of 5-7 year old children in enactive and iconic encoding conditions were compared to free recall performances of older children (9-11 years of age) in symbolic conditions of encoding. The results are discussed in relation to theoretical issues and educational questions.

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