The primary goal of this study was to explore the relationship among retrospective memory (RM), episodic future thinking (EFT), and prospective memory (PM) in preschool, first, and second grade children. In addition, we aimed at first investigating whether the social importance of the to-be-performed action affects children’s memory for intentions. Method Participants – The study included 120 children (53 girls) from four age groups: 4-year-olds, 5-year-olds, 6-year-olds, and 7-year-olds. For each age group (N = 30), half of the participants were randomly assigned to the high importance, whereas the other half to the low importance condition. Results The results indicate that children who show the ability to pre-experience future events are likely to show PM ability, independently of age and retrospective memory abilities. Furthermore, they demonstrated that the social importance of the intentional action improves PM performance in older children. Finally, to identify the factors that predict performance on PM task, we conducted a four-step logistic regression, with age, importance, retrospective memory scores, and EFT scores as predictors. Age, EFT scores, and importance were the best predictors of PM performance. Conclusions Our results revealed an association between children’s EFT ability and PM performance. Above all, they showed that EFT and importance are strong predictors of performance. Even when EFT abilities are well developed (as is the case of 5 and 6-year-olds), only older children seem able to use this ability in the service of prospective memory. It may be that, school-age children, not differently from adults, can benefit from simulating, at encoding, the future scenario in which event-based cues might be noticed and the target action might ultimately be carried out. Finally, the present results demonstrated that, like adults (see Cicogna & Nigro, 1998; Kvavilashvili, 1987; Brandimonte et al., 2010), older children’s PM performance is sensitive to the social importance of the intention.

Prospective Memory in children: the role of episodic future thinking and social importance

CICOGNA, PIERA CARLA;
2011

Abstract

The primary goal of this study was to explore the relationship among retrospective memory (RM), episodic future thinking (EFT), and prospective memory (PM) in preschool, first, and second grade children. In addition, we aimed at first investigating whether the social importance of the to-be-performed action affects children’s memory for intentions. Method Participants – The study included 120 children (53 girls) from four age groups: 4-year-olds, 5-year-olds, 6-year-olds, and 7-year-olds. For each age group (N = 30), half of the participants were randomly assigned to the high importance, whereas the other half to the low importance condition. Results The results indicate that children who show the ability to pre-experience future events are likely to show PM ability, independently of age and retrospective memory abilities. Furthermore, they demonstrated that the social importance of the intentional action improves PM performance in older children. Finally, to identify the factors that predict performance on PM task, we conducted a four-step logistic regression, with age, importance, retrospective memory scores, and EFT scores as predictors. Age, EFT scores, and importance were the best predictors of PM performance. Conclusions Our results revealed an association between children’s EFT ability and PM performance. Above all, they showed that EFT and importance are strong predictors of performance. Even when EFT abilities are well developed (as is the case of 5 and 6-year-olds), only older children seem able to use this ability in the service of prospective memory. It may be that, school-age children, not differently from adults, can benefit from simulating, at encoding, the future scenario in which event-based cues might be noticed and the target action might ultimately be carried out. Finally, the present results demonstrated that, like adults (see Cicogna & Nigro, 1998; Kvavilashvili, 1987; Brandimonte et al., 2010), older children’s PM performance is sensitive to the social importance of the intention.
17 meeting of The European Society for Cognitive PsychologyESCOP 2011
146
146
Cosenza M.; Brandimonte M.A.; Cicogna P.C.; Nigro G.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/105959
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