Children's Memory of Recurring Events: Is the First Event Always the Best Remembered?

Martine Powell, Donald Thomson, Stephen Ceci

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)


    Three experiments were conducted to examine the effect of age (4'5 and 6'8 years) and retention interval on children's ability to remember separate occurrences of a repeated event that varied in terms of content (items, dialog, etc.) Experiment 1 explored children's ability to recall the first versus last occurrence of a series of six events, at either one week or six weeks delay. Experiments 2 and 3 explored children's ability to identify the position of items in terms of their order of presentation within the series across two retention intervals. Overall, the results revealed clear age differences in children's performance. In general, the 6- to 8-year-old children performed better on all tasks than the 4- to 5-year-old children. Further, the older children showed relatively good memory of the first and last items compared to the middle items, although the last items were more likely to be forgotten or misplaced in the sequencing tasks over time than the first items. For the younger children, the patterns of results were sometimes but not always consistent with that of the older children. The relevance and generalisability of these findings to the legal setting are discussed as well as directions for future research. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)127-146
    Number of pages20
    JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


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