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Thesis (M.S.)

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Sixty-four 24-rnonth-old children were tested for memory of basic level category knowledge in a paired-comparison recognition task immediately and one week after familiarization with the categories. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two familiarization conditions and one of two test conditions. In one familiarization condition (Single Exemplar) four instances of one exemplar of each of 16 basic level categories were presented. In the other (Varied Exemplar) , four different exemplars of the category were presented to subjects. Test trials paired either an exemplar seen during familiarization (Familiar Exemplar Test) or an unfamiliar intracategory exemplar (Unfamiliar Exemplar Test) with a novel category stimulus. Preferences for novel over familiar categories occurred for all subjects regardless of which familiarization or test condition they experienced. More importantly, memory for the categories was evidenced by nearly all subjects even one week after the brief initial exposure to the stimuli. Subjects receiving only one exemplar of the category were able to abstract and retain information about that category for as long a period of time as subjects receiving varied exemplars of a category