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The development of memory for actions

Mackay, J. D. (2005) The development of memory for actions. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Adult studies have revealed superior retention for action words and phrases that are performed at encoding versus verbally encoded: the Subject-Performed-Task or SPT effect (e.g., Cohen 1981). Other studies demonstrate that information related to to-beperformed actions is more accessible from memory than other types of information: the Intention Superiority Effect or ISE (e.g. Goschke & Kuhl 1993; Marsh, Hicks & Bink 1998). Recent research suggests some degree of similarity between the processes underlying these effects (Freeman & Ellis 2003b). Experiments 1-3 explore this proposal by examining the developmental trajectory of these phenomena across young adults, 9- and 11-year-old participants. Interestingly while the SPT effect was observed in all age groups, the ISE was only present in the young adults, indicating some differences between the processing underlying these phenomena. Experiments 4-6 focused on another aspect of memory for actions, Prospective Memory or memory for delayed intentions. Related research includes an investigation into the effects of encoding modality on children’s prospective memory by Passolunghi, Brandimonte and Cornoldi (1995) who found that younger (7-8 years) children benefited from visual encoding of a prospective memory task instruction while older children (10- 11 years) benefited from motoric encoding. Experiments 4-5 assigned children from different age groups to one of three encoding conditions (visual, verbal, motoric) and presented prospective instructions for target items. Experiment 4 revealed no encoding modality benefits between 7-, 9- and 11-yearolds, although there was a developmental trend, particularly between the 7- and 11-yearolds. Experiment 5 failed to reveal any age-related improvement between 9- and 11- year-olds. Experiment 6 examined whether prospective remembering in Experiment 5 was related to executive functioning and identified predictors following motoric and visual encoding. The overall findings are discussed with reference to the deployment of attentional resources and to current theories of the development of executive functioning.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Ellis, J.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:85226


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