Preschool and first-grade children's recall of script-based event sequences was studied in relation to four different instruction conditions. In the first condition children were asked to put in the correct order and then to describe two picture sequences presented in a jumbled order; in the second condition children were asked to describe the same sequences presented in a correct order. The third condition was similar to the second, except that children were given a second trial to describe the sequences. In the fourth condition the sequences were presented in a jumbled order and children were only asked to describe them. After a week all children were asked to recall the sequences. Differences in sequencing ability were observed in relation to age and sequence. The worst recall was observed in children who described the misordered sequence. Sequencing led to more acts recalled and to fewer intrusions than the other three conditions. When sequencing level was also included in the analysis of recall, children with low level sequencing still showed comparable recall to that of children who described the ordered sequences. These findings indicate that at both ages the effort involved in sequencing aids semantic processing of the material, enhancing recall, and offsetting the initial drawback of being presented with a misordered sequence. Findings are discussed in relation to the children's ability to use script knowledge strategically as well as automatically. © 1991.
- script-based event sequences