ERIC Number: ED168728
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Reference Count: 0
A Naturalistic Study of Memory for Object Location in Very Young Children.
DeLoache, Judy S.
Two naturalistic studies of young (18-30 month old) children's memory for object location are reported which indicate that young children's memories are better than non-naturalistic studies suggest and that they have confidence in their memories. In the first study, 17 children were observed attempting to find objects they had watched their mothers hide in their homes with delays of 1, 3, or 5 minutes between hiding and seeking. Despite the unusually long delay for children of this age, subjects went directly to the toy with no errors on 76 percent of the trials. When three toys were hidden at once (with 3- or 5-minute intervals), children found the specific toy requested on 67 percent of the trials. The second study involved 12 children over a period of three days. On the first two days, an adult hid the toys in four of eight trials and the children themselves hid the toys in the other four trials. Performance was significantly better when children hid the toys themselves; when adults hid the toys, results of the first study were replicated. It is hypothesized that the difference between the results is due to differences in the level of processing. On the third day, there were two "surprise" trials per subject in which the objects were moved after hiding without the child's knowledge. Differences in children's responses observed between normal and surprise trials indicated that the children were confident of their memories. Age differences in responses to the surprise trials are discussed in an addendum. (BH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Naturalistic Studies; Object Location
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (San Francisco, California, March 15-18, 1979)