7 June 2012
When we have to remember a list of items during a delay (e.g., a phone number or a shopping list) we tend to rehearse that list so as not to forget it. Many psychologists have previously argued that this ability to rehearse does not develop in children until around 7 years of age. In a paper published in the journal Developmental Psychology, Chris Jarrold and Rebecca Citroën have shown that much of the evidence for this existing view is flawed. Young children do show the same behaviour as older children, but these effects are just harder to detect because younger children unsurprisingly remember fewer items.
Jarrold, C., & Citroën, R. (2012). Reevaluating Key Evidence for the Development of Rehearsal: Phonological Similarity Effects in Children Are Subject to Proportional Scaling Artifacts. Developmental Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0028771