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Factors that influence priming in young children

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dc.contributor.author Gonzales, Valerie Anne
dc.date.accessioned 2018-08-02T20:01:42Z
dc.date.available 2018-08-02T20:01:42Z
dc.date.copyright 1997 en_US
dc.date.issued 2018-08-02
dc.identifier.uri https://dspace.library.uvic.ca//handle/1828/9855
dc.description.abstract An empirical exploration of factors that facilitate priming in young children was undertaken utilizing sequentially degraded pictures (fragpix) developed by Snodgrass and her colleagues. The identification of fragmented pictures was studied by 288 children across four experiments. In the first two experiments abbreviated sets of fragpix were generated for use with young children. Experiments 3 and 4 manipulated five attributes of the priming stimulus to measure their effect on direct and indirect tests of memory. Experiment 3 was a scaling study that delineated age associated identification thresholds for fragpix. It also examined hypotheses regarding the impact of prior exposure and perceptual closure on indirect and direct tests of memory. During the exposure and test condition, 3-, 4-, 5- and 8-year olds were shown fragpix in descending degrees of fragmentation until they correctly named the picture. Snodgrass proposed perceptual closure as an explanatory mechanism for identification of incomplete pictures. To explore this hypothesis, following identification of each fragpic, half the children were shown the completed picture. This manipulation had no facilitative effect on identification or recall of fragmented pictures. Two measures of prior exposure, priming and transfer, were also computed. Age differences were found on picture identification, free recall, and picture recognition measures of discrimination and response bias. A linear trend was revealed on measures of priming for picture identification, and for picture recognition but not for recall. A similar method was used for each of the first three experiments: Fragpix were presented in their most degraded form with pictorial information systematically added until the picture was named. Snodgrass and Feenan (1990) suggested that priming might be equally effective if only single levels of fragmentation were presented. They reported that exposing adults to moderately fragmented pictures promoted closure and was more beneficial for later identification, than exposure to maximally-fragmented or nearly completed pictures. Experiment 4 tested this "optimal level" hypothesis with 5- and 8-year olds. Scores from Experiment 3 were used to select age-specific levels of fragmentation that made fragpix easy, moderately easy, or difficult to identify. Attributes of the priming stimulus were manipulated in Experiment 4 to examine the differential impact of varying exposure conditions on performance and on the magnitude of priming. Three manipulations occurred: One varied number of stimulus changes across levels of fragmentation, a second varied order of difficulty, and a third varied the nature of stimulus change (random or systematic). Manipulating the priming stimulus influenced fragpix identification and priming, but had little definitive impact on free recall. For both ages stimuli presented in a systematic rather than random order facilitated picture identification and the magnitude of priming. In addition, developmental differences emerged among systematic orders of presentation. Five-year-olds demonstrated optimal performance in picture identification and measures of picture recognition when there were multiple changes in temporal contrast, while order of difficulty (moderate to easy to hard) was more facilitative for 8-year-olds. A finding for a quadratic function for 8-year-olds on picture identification and magnitude of priming supported a moderately fragmented stimulus being an optimal prime, while for 5-year-olds, the relationship was monotonic. This pattern was not observed on the direct memory tests. It is argued that both perceptual and cognitive components of the task influence performance in an integrative manner on indirect and direct memory tests. A modified form of transfer appropriate processing is proposed as a reasonable explanation of the findings. en_US
dc.language English eng
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Available to the World Wide Web en_US
dc.subject Learning, Psychology of en_US
dc.subject Association of ideas en_US
dc.subject Connectionism en_US
dc.title Factors that influence priming in young children en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.supervisor May, Richard B.
dc.degree.department Department of Psychology en_US
dc.degree.level Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D. en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en_US


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