This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Incremental Repeated Acquisition in Children: Examining How Chain Type Might Influence the Association with Measures of Executive Function.




Spencer Walstrom, Kristen

Type of Degree





The Incremental Repeated Acquisition (IRA) procedure requires a participant to learn to produce a new sequence of responses each session. The current work makes two novel contributions to the small body of literature describing the use of an IRA procedure in humans. First two methods of chain development; Forward and backward chaining are compared. Second, this is the first time an attempt has been made to obtain more than a single IRA measurement with children. The study also provides an expansion of previous work regarding the association between IQ, age and performance on a Backward Chaining IRA task by including younger participants (2.5 to 7 years) and a measure of executive function, the Dimensional Change Card Sort task. Previous research has indicated the performance on the Backward Chaining IRA task improves with age and increases in IQ. This study found that performance on both Forward and Backward Chaining IRA improved with age but not with IQ. The potential importance of various procedural differences between this and previous work is discussed. A within-subjects comparison of the Forward and Backward Chaining IRA indicated participants performed better on the Forward Chaining IRA Task.