Kindergarten children’s event memory: the role of action prediction in remembering

  • Hilary Horn RatnerEmail author
  • Mary Ann Foley
  • Cherie Spencer Lesnick
Research Article


In two studies, kindergarteners participated in a series of staged events immediately preceded by pre-event interactions that were designed to identify factors relevant to improving recall. The events were based on preschool science-related activities and the experimental pre-event involved predicting actions to occur during a target event, manipulating types of cues available to support these predictive inferences. Action prediction did improve free recall, and effects may have influenced attentional processes evoked by actions generated and enacted. Although children effectively used outcome cues to predict actions, a one-to-one relation between pre-event action prediction patterns and recall did not occur. In combination with other findings, this result may suggest that increased attention during the target event may have supported the pre-event effect rather than integration of information between the pre-event and target event. Early childhood teachers engaging children in science activities should provide explicit cues to enhance usefulness of preparatory activities for recall.


Kindergarteners Event memory Pre-event Prediction Objects Science education 



Funding was provided by Wayne State University.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that we have no conflicts of interest and have followed all ethical research practices.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in the studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Behavioral Institutional Review Board, a committee of the university’s Institutional Review Board and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments.


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Copyright information

© Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hilary Horn Ratner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mary Ann Foley
    • 2
  • Cherie Spencer Lesnick
    • 3
  1. 1.Merrill Palmer Skillman InstituteWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  2. 2.Skidmore CollegeSaratoga SpringsUSA
  3. 3.Cleveland HeightsUSA

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