skip to main content skip to footer

Developmental Differences in Recall and Output Organization NICHD

Ornstein, Peter A.; Hale, Gordon A.; Morgan, Judith S.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Office of Education, Age Differences, Developmental Psychology, Elementary School Students, Junior High School Students, Recall (Psychology), Responses, Visual Stimuli


Third- and seventh-grade children were given a free recall task either with unrelated pictures or with pictures representing members of common categories. Mean number of items recalled increased with age for both related and unrelated lists. However, whereas the tendency to cluster related items increased with age, use of subjective organization with unrelated materials did not increase. The lack of developmental change in subjective organization was observed not only with Bousfield and Bousfield's (1966) traditional index of pairwise consistencies, but also with Pellegrino's (1971) measures of high-order organization. The data suggest that developmental increases in the amount of information recalled is not solely a function of age differences in amount of output organization. (18pp.)

Read More