RELATIONAL MEMORY IN EARLY CHILDHOOD: DOES UNITIZATION HELP?
Robey, Alison Marie
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Young children often experience relational memory failures, which are thought to be due to underdeveloped recollection processes. Manipulations with adults, however, have suggested that relational memory tasks can be accomplished with familiarity, a processes that is fully developed during early childhood. The goal of the present study was to determine if relational memory performance could be improved in early childhood by teaching children a memory strategy (i.e., unitization) shown to increase familiarity in adults. Six- and 8-year old children were taught to use visualization strategies that either unitized or did not unitize pictures and colored borders. Analysis revealed inconclusive results regarding differences in familiarity between the two conditions, suggesting that the unitization memory strategy did not improve the contribution of familiarity as it has been shown to do in adults. Based on these findings, it cannot be concluded that unitization strategies increase the contribution of familiarity in childhood.