Developmental changes in predicting recognition memory for semantically related and unrelated sentences

Steven R. Yussen, Nina S. Paquette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Examined the development of an awareness (metamemory) of "constructive interference." This is the "fact" that when children and adults are presented a list of semantically related sentences, they later find it more difficult to distinguish old from new instances than when they are presented a list of unrelated sentences. Knowledge of this constructive interference was tested by having 192 11-, 15- and 22-yr-old students first predict recognition and then take an actual recognition test. In independent groups, half of the Ss received lists of semantically related sentences, and half received lists of semantically unrelated sentences. By comparing Ss' predictions with their actual performances across the different groups, it appears that the 11-yr-olds did not comprehend this phenomenon, but the 15- and 22-yr-olds did. That is, older Ss correctly predicted that recognition performance would be poorer for related lists than for unrelated lists. The 11-yr-olds, by contrast, predicted that recognition would be about the same for the 2 kinds of lists. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1978


  • lists of semantically related vs unrelated sentences, predicted vs actual recognition performance, 11 vs 15 vs 22 yr olds, test of awareness of constructive interference


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