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Examining children's memory organization of repeated events using a reaction time paradigm: The rapid reorganization of variable details into categories

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
Child sexual abuse investigations often hinge on the testimony of child complainants. Children are expected to particularize instances of repeated abuse, but it is unclear whether these expectations align with their memory capabilities. The current study aimed to offer insight into the explanatory strength of script theory versus fuzzy-trace theory for children's natural memory organization of a repeated event. Expanding upon Slinger (2010), this study used a reaction time paradigm to examine children's memory organization of variables details across a repeated event. Children aged 9 to 11 (N = 128) watched six magic show videos, each of which contained exemplars from twelve variable detail categories (six taxonomic and six non-taxonomic categories). After a brief delay, participants completed an online recognition memory test. Reaction time, accuracy, and discriminability were measured. Overall, the findings suggest memory reorganizes from instances to a general event script with categorical organization of variable details.
68 pages.
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Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Connolly, Deborah
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