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The effects of analyzing task demands on children's selection and transfer of effective memory strategies Chow, Yi Ling Mary

Abstract

This study examined the effects of analyzing task demands on children's selection and spontaneous transfer of effective memory strategies. Two learning tasks and a transfer task were used. One hundred and eight children in grades 3 and 5 were randomly assigned to one of the three conditions, Control, Simple Instruction (SI), and Elaborated Instruction (EI). No strategy was taught to subjects in the Control condition. Subjects in the SI and EI conditions were instructed to use appropriate memory strategies for the learning task. In addition, subjects in the EI condition also received task-specific strategies information prior to the transfer task. Their application of the memory strategies to the transfer task was examined. Results indicated that the main effect of grade was significant for the categorical word-list task but not for the paired-associate task at both learning and transfer phases. In general, subjects in the two experimental conditions (SI and EI) performed better than the subjects in the Control condition, and that the EI subjects out performed the SI subjects. Transfer of the strategies occurred mainly in the EI condition which included the task-specific information. In other words, the more task-specific information subjects received concerning the memory strategies, the more likely they would transfer the strategies appropriately to new learning situations.

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