An experimental test was made of two hypotheses formulated to account for age differences across adolescence in the learning of arbitrary associations. One hypothesis ascribes such differences to two factors: the propensity to elaborate coherent relationships among initially disparate items, and accessibility to event knowledge that can form the bases of such relationships. The other hypothesis assumes that propensity remains constant across age, and that development stems entirely from increases in the accessibility of relevant event knowledge. These hypotheses are evaluated with reference to the performance of 11- and 17-year-olds in learning relationships among paired nouns. The results discredited both hypotheses, instigating the formulation of a revised conception of the relationship between knowledge and propensity as developmental determinants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology