ERIC Number: ED265493
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Effect of Task Purpose on the Study Behaviors and Recall of Young Children. Technical Report No. 346.
Reeve, Robert A.
Two experiments were conducted to determine whether children remembered information more efficiently if they were provided with an explicit purpose for learning. In the first experiment, 96 5-year-old children watched a simple science demonstration and were told either to remember the names of the depicted items from pictures for a memory test (rote memory group), to learn the names of the items because they were needed for a second science demonstration (embedded memory group), or to tell the experimenter whether they thought they had seen the pictures anywhere before (incidental memory group). Except for the incidental memory group, all subjects were told that their recall would be tested immediately or after a one-hour delay. Results indicated that children in the embedded group employed mnemonic strategies (rehearsal, elaboration) more frequently and studied longer than children in other groups, but only children tested immediately recalled more. The second experiment, using the same set of materials and procedures with 65 5-year-old children from the same population source, investigated whether omitting mention of the time the children would have to remember would minimize their concern and, in turn, lead to elevated recall. Under this condition, the performance of the embedded delay and the embedded immediate groups was equivalent. These data show that 5-year-old children can use task appropriate strategies if the memory task is embedded in a purposeful, motivating activity, but the effort is dependent on the nature of the task content and other factors, such as doubts about one's competence, which may intervene and affect performance. (EL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.; National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.