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ERIC Number: EJ1051394
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jun
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
When You've Seen One, Have You Seen Them All? Children's Memory for General and Specific Learning Episodes
Riggs, Anne E.; Kalish, Charles W.; Alibali, Martha W.
Developmental Psychology, v50 n6 p1653-1659 Jun 2014
In any learning situation, children must decide the level of generality with which to encode information. Cues to generality may affect children's memory for different components of a learning episode. In this research, we investigated whether 1 cue to generality, generic language, affects children's memory for information about social categories and specific individuals. In Study 1, preschool-aged children (n = 40), but not school-aged children (n = 40), remembered generic properties more often than analogous, nongeneric properties but remembered the individual category exemplars associated with nongeneric properties more often than those associated with generic properties. In Study 2, school-aged children (n = 26) did not show differential memory for generic and nongeneric learning episodes, even when task demands were increased. Additionally, both younger and older children generalized generic properties significantly more than nongeneric properties. These findings reflect an early understanding of the category relevance of generics and suggest that the effect of generic language on memory declines over development. However, generic language has a consistent and powerful influence on children's within-category generalization.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED); National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: BCS-0745423; R305B090009