Absolute versus relative difference measures of priming: Which is appropriate when baseline scores change with age?

Kristina (Tina) Murphy, Elinor McKone, Judith Slee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    It is often of theoretical interest to know if implicit memory (repetition priming) develops across childhood under a given circumstance. Methodologically, however, it is difficult to determine whether development is present when baseline performance for unstudied items improves with age. Calculation of priming in absolute (priming = studied -unstudied) or relative-to-baseline terms can lead to different conclusions. In first noting this problem, Parkin (1993) suggested using the Snodgrass (1989a) calculation of relative priming [priming = (studied - unstudied)/(maximum - unstudied)], and most developmental studies have since adopted this procedure. Here, we question the Snodgrass method because the Snodgrass method's results are not replicated in the picture identification task when baselines are equated experimentally across age groups. Instead, results support an absolute measure of priming. Theoretically, we argue against its core assumption; namely, that children and adults always lie on the same learning curve, with an equal maximum performance level and equal rate of learning.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)293-304
    JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
    Volume24
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Absolute versus relative difference measures of priming: Which is appropriate when baseline scores change with age?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this