Date of Award

1986

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Abstract

Two experiments designed to assess whether location information about movement is automatically encoded in memory were conducted. In Experiment 1, two automaticity criteria were examined. The first stipulated that age differences are not exhibited in processing location information; and, the second stipulated that location information is encoded without intention and additional intention does not improve the quality of the encoding process. A third criteria was also examined: whether spatial cues from the environment (layout of testing area) improves the encoding of movement information. In Experiment 2, the automaticity criteria that practice has no effect was analyzed. In Experiment 1, 60 individuals at each of three age levels--7-, 11-year-olds, and adults--moved to four locations on a 20 x 20 m field. Subjects were randomly assigned to intentional position - intentional exercise, incidental position - intentional exercise, or a control, incidental position - incidental exercise conditions under two environmental treatments--with or without lines demarcating the testing area. All the subjects were asked to recall the exercises and their locations (free recall). ANOVA results indicated that the three main effects of age, condition, and layout were significant (p < .05). In Experiment 2, 30 individuals from three age groups--7-, 11-year-olds, and adults, jogged along the layout with lines. Within each age group, subjects were randomly assigned to one, two, or three practice trials. ANOVA results indicated that the two main effects of age and practice were significant (p < .05). These findings do not support previous research predictions that spatial location is automatically encoded. Rather, the developmental trends, intention to learn, the environment, and practice effects increased the accuracy of movement recall, suggesting the attentional requirements for the encoding processes of location information were on a continuum.

Pages

129

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