Two series of object drawings classifiable according to either color or conceptual category were used: one to assess dimensional salience and the other to assess free recall, clustering, and cued recall. Parallel shifts in dimensional salience and the dominance of these dimensions as organizing principles in memory were investigated in nursery school and second- and fifth-grade children. Nursery school children manifested color salience, whereas the two older groups manifested conceptual salience. Above chance clustering according to the salient dimension in each age group and some increase in the size of organization units as a function of age were found. Within age groups, neither amount nor dimension or clustering were related to amount of recall. In each group, more words were accessed by salient than by nonsalient cues. Effectiveness of nonsalient cues depended on the order of presentation for young children, whereas for older chilren they were ineffective regardless of order. Implications of these findings for encoding and retrieval processes in children were discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology