A preschooler's memory is poor in that they
- seldom try to retain bits of information in memory.
- donít know how to recall past experiences.
Memory can be enhanced by
• using scripts which are skeletal outlines of familiar sequence of events.
Scripts have 2 key aspects:
1. They have a begining & an end.
2. They recognize the causal flow of events.
• asking specific questions.
• using visual reminders.
Special experiences promote long term memory: if
- the experience is so repetitive that a script is formed
- it is a distinct experience that occurs only once (example: natural disaster)
Children as a witness to a crime:
- provide very accurate details of what happened, but have trouble recalling who was involved
- (preschoolers) respond untruthfully to misleading questions
- provide a structured sequence to enhance memory
- can sometimes give false information to a script that makes sense to them (especially when there is a long duration between the event and recollection)
Theory of the mind - understanding of the human mental processes
Ψ Theory of the mind emerges at age 4 in the United States.
Ψ Theory of mind is
1. Maturation of the prefrontal cortex
2. Language: believe, think
3. An older sibling
4. A culture that anticipates the future
Ψ Preschoolers are beginning to understand mental processes, they can
• can distinguish between mental phenomena & physical events.
• appreciate how mental phenomena can arise from life experiences.
• understand mental phenomena are subjective.
• recognize that people have differing opinions & preferences.
• realize that beliefs & desires can influence human actions.
• realize that emotions can come from physical events & goals / expectations.
Note: In children 3-6 years of age, mental phenomena may not reflect reality. Most children however; by age 5, have an adequate "theory of mind" to know the difference between a person's false thinking & an actual case.