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The relationship between memory for category and memory for specific instance.

Cognitive scientists have long endeavored to clarify the process by which human beings classify or categorize information. The study discussed here attempts to uncover the underlying nature of the categorization process in children and adults by examining access to information at retrieval. Previous work has suggested that two separate memory systems, memory for the category itself and memory for the specific instance of the category, may exist. This study attempts to further investigate the nature of these two memory systems, their relationship to each other, and their contribution to the process of categorization in children and adults. Using the prototype plus distractor paradigm, children and adults were asked to categorize a set of visual stimuli, and give confidence ratings for their judgments. The findings in this study suggest that memory for category and memory for specific instance are separate and distinct, and can be selectively accessed according to the demands of the task across age groups. Developmental differences are in the form of a U-shaped, non-monotonic path. Findings are consistent with a portrayal of memory as a continuum, with age as one factor in freedom of movement along such a continuum.
Date January 1994
CreatorsWilkes, Glenda Garrett.
ContributorsMishra, Shitala P., McCaslin, Mary M., Good, Thomas L.
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
Source SetsUniversity of Arizona
Detected LanguageEnglish
Typetext, Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.

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