Age Differences in Recall and Recognition

In this study, you will need to test a college-age person and a preschool child. You should reassure the child’s parents that you are simply testing memory as part of a class project

You will be examining both recall and recognition in this demonstration. First, assemble 20 common objects, such as a pen, pencil, piece of paper, leaf, stick, rock, book, key, apple, and so forth. Place the objects in a box or cover them with a cloth.

You will use the same testing procedure for both people, although the preschool child will require a more extensive explanation. Remove 10 objects in all, one at a time. Show each object for about 5 seconds and then conceal it again. After you have shown all 10 objects, ask each person to recall as many of the objects as possible. Do not provide feedback about the correctness of the responses. After recall is complete, test for recognition. Show one object at a time, randomly presenting the old objects mixed in sequence with several new objects. For each item, ask whether the object is old or new.

Count the number of correct recalls and the number of correct recognitions for each person. You should find that both the child and the adult are quite accurate on the recognition measures, but the adult recalls more items than the child.