Developmental changes in predicting one's own span of short-term memory

Steven R. Yussen, Victor M. Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Developmental changes in the accuracy of predicting one's own recall were studied, using preschool, third grade, and college subjects in Experiment 1 and third grade and college subjects in Experiment 2. Experiment 1 showed that prediction accuracy increased from the preschool to the college years, subjects were not influenced by a potential "expectancy" bias in the procedure, and only third grade subjects were influenced by the presence of norms about peer performance. Experiment 2 showed that third graders and college subjects lower their predictions in the face of "false" norm information, with college subjects being the only group to under predict actual recall in both experiments. Thus, although adults are significantly more accurate than elementary shool children in estimating short-term recall, their susceptibility to norm information suggests that even they have uncertainty about their exact capabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-508
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1975

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Grant 140546 from the Graduate School of the University of Wisconsin to the first author. Reprint requests should be addressed to: Steven R. Yussen, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin, 1025 West Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706.

Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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