Child Development Exam 2 draft

Terms in this set (10)

The capacity of the short-term store (STS) is assessed by tests of memory span.
Memory span = the number of rapidly presented and unrelated items (for example, digits) that a person can recall in exact order. Age differences in memory span are highly reliable . Memory span is used as one indication of general intelligence on the two most widely used intelligence tests for children.
Short-term memory has even been assessed in infants using looking-time procedures. Results show that the amount of visual information infants can keep in mind at one time increases over the 1st year of life.

What children know about the randomly presented items they are asked to remember affects their memory span.

In a classic study, a group of graduate students were given two simple memory tests. The first was a digit-span task. On a second test they were shown chess pieces on a chess board (about one chess piece per second) and then given the pieces and asked to place them in their previous positions on the board. Their performance on these tasks was compared with that of a group of 10-year-olds- who were all chess experts.

Result: The child experts outperformed the adults when memory for chess pieces was tested. Their performance was limited to what they knew well, because they performed much worse than adults did when their memory for digits was tested.

These findings indicate that having a detailed knowledge base for a particular domain (in this case, chess) facilitates memory performance for information from that domain but not necessarily for information from other areas.

How does being an expert improved memory span?

Answer: The ease of item identification—how quickly the child identifies items to be remembered.
Children who are experts in a domain can rapidly process information in that domain and have an advantage when it comes to memory span. Their speed of item identification is an indication of their domain-specific processing efficiency. Yet, in domains in which they are not experts, older children tend to process most types of information faster than younger children, and faster processing contributes to larger memory spans.