Young Children's Spontaneous Utterances of Mental Terms and the Accuracy of Their Memory Behaviors: A Different Methodological Approach

Document Type

Article - Merrimack Access Only

Publication Title

Infant and Child Development

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

The purpose of this study was to determine whether young children's spontaneous utterances of mental terms would be congruent with the accuracy of their memory behaviours, and whether the use of an incidental memory task would yield similar developmental patterns as other methodologies. It was hypothesized that if children realize that internal mental activities influence behavioural actions, then the children's behavioural actions (recall) would be congruent with their utterances. A total of 27 three- and five-year-old children spontaneously used cognitive verbs such as knowing, forgetting, remembering, thinking, guessing and betting during a recall task. The results revealed that 39% of the 3-year-old children's behavioural responses and 67% of the 5-year-old children were congruent with their spontaneous utterances. These and other findings were consistent with studies that utilized different methodologies.