The goal of the present study was to examine the development of semantic and episodic memory in middle childhood. Specifically, we sought to understand the relation between episodic and semantic memory by examining how an aspect of semantic memory—spatial semantic knowledge—may influence children’s episodic memory for events and their spatial locations. Children ages 5, 6, and 7 participated in events in 6 exhibits representing locations in a model town in a local children’s museum. Events were manipulated by the extent to which the event and the spatial location match. Event conditions included spatially congruent, incongruent, and independent. After a short delay, children were tested for their recognition of the events and the location in which the event occurred. In addition, a novel semantic interview task directly assessed knowledge of the locations represented in the museum exhibits. Most notably, we found older children to exhibit greater semantic knowledge of locations (as measured through the semantic interview task) and, in the experimental manipulation, we found children’s semantic memory to influence their memory for the locations of events. Results implicate the nature of the relations of children’s semantic and episodic memory as well as the utility of research conducted in naturalistic settings.
|Commitee:||Mendez-Smith, Julia, Wahlheim, Christopher|
|School:||The University of North Carolina at Greensboro|
|Department:||Arts & Sciences: Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||MAI 57/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Developmental psychology, Psychology|
|Keywords:||Development, Episodic memory, Museum, Semantic memory|
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