ERIC Number: ED335124
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr-18
Reference Count: 0
Emergence of Autobiographical Memory at Age 4.
This paper proposes an explanation for the onset of autobiographical memory at about 4 years of age. It seems likely that normal middle-class 3-year-olds have not yet mastered language as a representational system. Research suggests that children learn the social and cultural forms of narrative memory in talk with others. It is hypothesized that children's experience with language as an external representational system will strongly influence its use as an internal representational system, and that, at the age of 4 years, children move into a new phase in which language becomes a medium of internal as well as external representation. Language represents what others know and is a way of comparing that representation with one's own representation of the same event. Thus, the onset of autobiographical memory is facilitated by, and possibly causally related to, the exchange of representations with others through language. (SH)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Autobiographical Recall; Episodic Memory
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).