This study attempted to examine whether a copy theory of memory that views memory as essentially a library of stored experiences, or a generative memory model that depends on constructive and integrative processes is the more descriptive of the memory representation of children and adults. Neither children nor adults manifested responses compatible with a generative memory model. The children appeared to attend primarily to the presented configurations on an individual basis, whereas adults based recognition judgments more so on observed frequency properties across configurations. Thus a copy theory of memory was more descriptive of the memory representations of children and adults. Also, in both groups, the color of a configuration appeared to be a salient factor in the recognition of a configuration if the color was not seen in previous configurations. Color preference among colors already seen differed between children and adults.
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The authors wish to express their gratitude to Mr. Michael B. Smith, Mrs. Jean Adams, and the volunteer students of the St. Paul Open School for their cooperation in this study. This work was supported in part by grants to the University of Minnesota Center for Research in Human Learning from the National Science Foundation (GS-l761), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HDOI136-04), and from the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota. The research reported herein was also supported by a grant (OE-09-332189-4533032) from the Bureau of Education for the handicapped, U.S. Office of Education, to the Research and Development Center in Education of Handicapped Children.
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