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Thesis (M.S.)

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Comprehension, Memory, Memory in children


Recognition memory for complex pictures was investigated using 3 variables: meaningf ulness of the target (anomalous or conventional), type of transformation in the distractor (substitution or rearrangement), and extent of transformation (whether the target and distractor were consistent or inconsistent in meaningf ulness) . Three- and four- year olds were familiarized with 16 different thematic scenes with which a child this age would likely have had experience. Half of the target pictures shown to a child were conventional, and half were anomalous, containing either an object or arrangement of objects that did not fit the theme. During the recognition test, targets were paired with distractors that were either conventional or anomalous (yielding the consistent-inconsistent conditions) and contained either a substitution of one object or a rearrangement of objects. Overall, recognition memory was similar for conventional and anomalous targets indicating that both types of pictures were assimilated into schemata equally well. When target and distractor were inconsistent in meaningfulness, recognition memory was facilitated. Thus, information about whether the target contained an anomaly or not was remembered.