Resistance to Interference: Developmental Changes in a Basic Processing Mechanism

  • Frank N. Dempster


Historically, theories of cognitive development have focused on two general processes: knowledge accumulation and information activation. Central to Piaget’s grand design, for example, is the notion that cognition is rule-governed (Reyna & Brainerd, 1991). He frequently stressed the importance of rule-based “operations” that, as they are acquired, progressively enlarge the child’s intellectual repertoire. Likewise, many more recent developments inspired by the rise of information-processing theories have explained age-related improvements in performance on the grounds that individuals acquire and implement more powerful rules, skills, or strategies (such as rehearsal, elaboration, and imagery) as they grow older (e.g., Fischer, 1980; Moely, 1977; Siegler, 1984). Although there are many points of divergence between Piagetian-type rules and information-processing rules, both traditions have nurtured the view that intellectual development is, in considerable part, a product of the accumulation of certain forms of knowledge.


Frontal Lobe Cognitive Development Cognitive Style Inhibitory Process Proactive Interference 
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