Date of Award

1980

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Abstract

What the adult does during the intertrial interval that the child does not to process information was under investigation in this series of studies. Representative ages chosen due to a difference in the utilization of control processes were 5-, 7-, 11-, and 19-year olds. The initial study tested the initial availability of information to the subject prior to processing. The major question was detecting developmental differences in kinesthetic sensory store. Results indicated that the superior performance of the adults is not due to the initial availability of the information. The second study investigated the detriment to performance by increasing the number of to-be-recalled movements. For recall of one position minimal age differences were evident. When required to recall three positions, the 5-year olds performed differently from the 7-, 11-, and 19-year olds. For recall of five movements, the 11- and 19-year olds responded similarly but all other age combinations performed differently. The conclusions of this study indicated that the older children and adults were able to recall longer series of movements with decreased error when compared to the younger children. With the results of the first two studies in mind, the developmental usage of control processes of organization and rehearsal were investigated. For the organization study, three groups were utilized at each age: organized input, unorganized input and training of organization. Results indicated that the 5-year olds recalled on an instance-by-instance basis and did not utilize the organization cues or restructure the input. The 7-year olds made use of the organizational cues but did not restructure the information. During a transfer task, although they realized the similarity among positions, they failed to transfer the organizational strategy. The 11-year olds utilized an organizational strategy when given organized input and then transferred the strategy to a new task. However, when given unorganized input, they failed to restructure the information. The 19-year olds on the other hand utilized the organizational cues when available and restructured the information for improved recall. The rehearsal study also included three groups at each age level: child-like strategy (rote rehearsal), self-determined strategy (subject initiated), and adult-like strategy (rehearsing in groups of 3). Results indicated improved performance of the 5- and 7-year olds when forced to rehearse like adults. Their performance was improved that they did not perform differently than 11- or 19-year olds forced to practice like children. The general conclusions suggested the superior performance of the older children and adults was not due to the initial availability of the information but an increased ability of the subject to utilize control processes of organization and rehearsal.

Pages

379

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