The effect of presentation context on the organization and free recall of high-associate and unrelated words was examined in third-, fifth-, and seventh-grade children. The experiment contrasted (1) sorting a list of high-associate words before unrelated words with sorting under the opposite order of presentation and (2) sorting vs. rehearsal instructions for a list containing a mixture of high-associate and unrelated words. There were age-related increases in the proportion of items recalled, in subjective organization, in the ordering of recall according to previous subject-determined groupings, but not in the clustering of high-associate words. Results are discussed as reflecting developmental increases in the memory organization of unrelated words.
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