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Do illustrations enhance preschoolers’ memories for stories? Age-related change in the picture facilitation effect

Authors
Journal
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
0022-0965
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
99
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2007.06.005
Keywords
  • Illustrations
  • Memory
  • Pictures
  • Preschoolers
  • Recall
  • Stories

Abstract

Abstract This study investigated whether illustrations facilitate story recall in preschoolers ( N = 58) 46 to 63 months of age. Each child was exposed to either a verbal story narrative with illustrations (Verbal and Picture condition), the narrative alone (Verbal Only condition), the narrative with uninformative illustrations (Verbal and Irrelevant Picture condition), or the illustrations alone (Picture Only condition). Children recalled the story immediately and after a 1-week delay. With increasing age, the Verbal and Picture group increasingly outperformed the other verbal groups, particularly when recalling central details conveyed by both narrative and illustrations. Performance did not vary among the three verbal groups at lower values of age, whereas the Verbal and Picture group recalled more than the other verbal groups at the older ages. Regardless of age, all verbal groups outperformed the Picture Only group, suggesting that preschoolers are unlikely to spontaneously generate a narrative from pictures alone.

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