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deziner deziner
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4 years ago
Why do you as an adult have a superior memory to an elementary school child?
Textbook 

Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding


Edition: 4th
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promiipromii
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Answers will vary but should include discussion on all three of these elements listed below (memory span increases, conceptual knowledge of world increases, and meta-memory skills increases).
   There are several important reasons why an adult has a better memory than a child. First, as we grow older, our memory span increases. Research suggests that part of this increase in memory span is due to an increase in sophisticated encoding strategies (using maintenance or rote rehearsal, beginning to use elaborative rehearsal). However, there is also evidence that biological maturation also plays a role. We have to wait for an individual’s natural memory abilities to increase as we age. Memory span is seemingly influenced by both nature and nurture factors.
   Second, a child’s conceptual knowledge of the world is less than an adult’s. Children often have “poorer” memories because they have less experience in and with the world and all of the knowledge that an adult might have and take for granted. Because of this larger conceptual knowledge base, the adult learner can make better and more efficient use of this knowledge as he or she attempts to make newly encountered information easier to recall by relating it to information that is already meaningful.
   Third, children are more likely to be unaware of the limitations of their own memory abilities, an area called meta-memory. They have yet to consider the strengths and limitations of their strategies. As we grow older, we pick and choose between various memory strategies depending how effective each would be. Children are often unaware of how limited their abilities are and overestimate their ability to recall information at a later time. Again, with the passage of time, as they grow older, children begin to understand this and become more accurate, or at least more realistic, in their remembering abilities.
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