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12-03-2020 | Original Article | Uitgave 3/2021

Psychological Research 3/2021

Noting a difference: change in social context prompts spontaneous recall in 46-month-olds, but not in 35-month-olds

Psychological Research > Uitgave 3/2021
Trine Sonne, Osman S. Kingo, Dorthe Berntsen, Peter Krøjgaard
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An experimental paradigm has shown that it is possible to activate spontaneous memories in children by having them re-visit the setting in which they were introduced to a memorable event. Nevertheless, the most important cues for spontaneous recall remain undetermined. In response, we investigated the importance of the experimenter by introducing 35-month-olds (n = 62) and 46-month-olds (n = 62) to the same or a new person after one week. We expected that altering the experimenter would result in fewer recollections through reducing the overlap of cues between encoding and testing. In contrast, the manipulation affected the two age groups differently: no effect of condition was seen in the 35-month-olds, whereas the 46-month-olds performed better, when the experimenter had changed, suggesting a sensitivity to change and an ability to update their knowledge of the event. We replicated previous findings demonstrating that both age groups exhibited spontaneous recollections.

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