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Age And Category Blocked Presentation

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The effect of age and category-blocked and random presentation on free recall and clustering is an important aspect of learning. Learning is a basic foundation of cognitive development. From the many aspects of learning, what we do to learn (the process) and what we learn (the outcome) are of great importance. From the day a child is born, she is exposed to a variety of stimuli; some of which she will pay attention to, others she will not. From those things which require her attention, she will either sort the information or compare it with what she already knows.

In a previous study, Kail (1990) found that children memory capacity develop............. It appears that individuals are able to recall items when they are categorically grouped (Lucariello & Nelson, 1985).

There is evidence that age and presentation order has an affect on free recall (Yoshimura, Moely, & Shapiro, 1971). Memory/Recall

Presentation Method


The ability to learn new things and recall information is an important developmental task. As in the case of physical abilities, the appears to be a peak age for mental abilities. In examining the processes of memory, how the information is organized and presented has been of great discussion.. In another study of free recall and clustering, Moely and Shapiro (1971) found "clustering increased with age, but only with block presentation; and clustering was higher for the category blocked condition than for any other condition"

(p. 490).



Ten children of kindergartener age and ten adults, ranging in age of 18-35 will participate in the study. The adults will be recruited through class announcements (Dr. Appleby's B105) and email notifications (B346). The kindergartners will be recruited from the IUPUI Child Development Center. There will be consent forms given to the parents of the kindergartners and the adults will be asked to complete a consent form.


23 black and white drawings of common items will be used (3 practice cards and 20 test items). The items are from common categories (food, toys, furniture, vehicles, body parts). The drawings will be mounted on 3 X 3 inch cards. We will use an individual data sheet to record the responses of each participant.


Half of the participants in each age group will be presented with the pictures in block order; half are presented the pictures in random order. The experimenter will present the 20 items on at a time, along with a verbal label. The participant will repeat the verbal label after viewing each item. After the 20 items have been viewed, the participant will be asked to recall as many items as possible.

The assigned list with the particular presentation order will be copied on the left column of the individual data sheet. The pictures will be arranged in a pile in the corresponding order. The participant will be seated across from the experimenter. The experimenter will state, "(Subject's name), I'm interested in how well people remember what they see. I have a group of 20 pictures that I am going to show you one at a time. I will name each thing as I show it to you, and you repeat the name right away aloud. After I show you all of the pictures, I want you to tell me all the ones that you remember, okay? Let's practice with these first with these three." The experimenter will present one of the practice cards, label the picture, and ask the participant to repeat the label. If the label is not given promptly, the experimenter will say, "Say it.", count



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