Remembering breakfast: How do pre-schoolers represent an everyday event?

Sims, Ceri M. and Morton, John (2021) Remembering breakfast: How do pre-schoolers represent an everyday event? Cognition. p. 104654. ISSN 1873-7838

18224_Sims_C.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB) | Preview


While it is clear that pre-schoolers have episodic memories for unique events, the representation of mundane events is disputed. In three studies we investigated three- and four- year olds' recall of that day's breakfast. In the first study (n = 27), all children discriminated between specific and general questions about their breakfast. However, children with a greater variety of breakfast options were more likely to correctly remember their morning's breakfast than children with only two or three options. This effect was maintained in the second study (n = 21) where systematic directive questioning was used to increase access to the relevant representation. In addition, repeated questioning over a number of days had no effect on recall. In the third study (n = 15), where questions were asked within minutes of finishing breakfast, children with little variety again failed to do better than chance. The findings together indicate that pre-schoolers have specific records for today's breakfast-time. Schema access is necessary for talking about those details that were not encoded as part of the record, such as food or drink where the child has limited choice. In such cases the child apparently samples from the alternatives in the schema with a corresponding high error rate. Children with more choice for their breakfast represent what they have eaten in their record of the event. [Abstract copyright: Crown Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.]

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From PubMed via Jisc Publications Router ** History: received 21-10-2020; revised 01-03-2021; accepted 01-03-2021.
Keywords: Episodic memory, Memory records, Pre-schoolers, Schema
SWORD Depositor: JISC Router
Depositing User: JISC Router
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2021 08:19
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2022 15:03

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item