In this research we compared kindergarten children's immediate recall of a class field trip to a museum of archaeology on the same day of the trip to their recall 6 weeks later, 1 year later and 6 years later. Not surprisingly, children remembered less about this event over time. However, what children did recall was recalled as accurately and in as much detail 6 years after the trip as immediately after the trip. Most striking were the effects of cueing on memory over time. Without specific cues the event was forgotten by almost all of the children after 1 year, but with cues, 87 per cent of the children could recall details of the event even after 6 years. The set of ‘core’ activities which all children tended to recall on all recall trials were those activities that made this particular event distinctive. However, with increasing time since experiencing the event, children's recall tended to become more reconstructive and inferential. Thus, forgetting in autobiographic memory seems to involve three processes: decreases in amount recalled, changes in accessibility, and changes in memory content.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)