Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Bridget Ryalls

Second Advisor

Joseph C. LaVoie

Third Advisor

Thomas Lorsbach


The purpose of the present study was to investigate Hasher and Zacks' (1979,1984) automaticity theory of memory for spatial location information in young children using two incidental memory tasks. A total of 96 three- and fiveyear- olds (48 boys and 48 girls) were randomly assigned to either the "manipulation condition" (MC) or the "observation condition" (OC). In order to assess task difficulty, half of the participants manipulated a total of 18 genderstereotyped animal toys (male, female, neutral) and half of the participants a total of 9. After a 2 minute filler task, the participants were instructed to return the animals into their original spaces. Analyses of variance indicated a main effect of age, task difficulty, and gender-stereotype of the animals. Timing of reconstruction, strategy usage as well as implications for the automaticity theory are discussed.

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Psychology Commons