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The production effect in memory: a prominent mnemonic in children*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 November 2014

Ariel University
Ariel University
*Address for Correspondence: Michal Icht, Department of Communication Disorders, Ariel University 40700, ISRAEL. tel: +972-3-9765755; fax: +972-3-9765743; e-mail:


The ‘Production Effect’ (PE) refers to a memory advantage for items studied aloud over items studied silently. Thus, vocalizing may serve as a mnemonic that can be used to assist learners in improving their memory for new concepts. Although many other types of mnemonic have been suggested in the literature, the PE seems especially appropriate for young children, as it does not involve literacy skills. The present study is a first investigation of the PE in children. In two experiments we tested five-year-olds in a PE paradigm using pictures of objects as stimuli. In Experiment 1, pictures of familiar objects were presented to be remembered, and in Experiment 2 we used pictures of unfamiliar objects (evaluating new vocabulary acquisition). In both experiments we showed a memory advantage for vocally produced words (‘look and say’) over other types of learning (‘look’, ‘look and listen’), suggesting the PE as a prominent memory and learning tool.

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