Recalling a Floor Routine: The Effects of Skill and Age on Memory for Order

Gershon Tenenbaum, Gerald Tehan, Georgia Stewart, Steven Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Two studies were conducted to examine gymnasts' memory capabilities in relation to skill level (high and low) and age level (6-8 years and 14-16 years). The first experiment consisted of two trials performed 7 days apart. In the first trial, gymnasts were briefly exposed to a twelve-element floor routine, and were then required to perform the routine in the same serial order. One week later they were again briefly presented the same sequence, but with the fifth and seventh elements missing. The task was to perform the sequence in order, including the missing elements. The second study involved three trials that were conducted on the same day. A ten-element sequence was briefly presented on the first trial followed by an immediate test of that sequence. One hour later, participants were asked to perform the sequence again (delayed test). An hour following that, the sequence was again presented with two elements missing. The sequence had to be performed with the missing elements. The results indicate that serial position accuracy of a gymnastic floor routine improves with both age and experience, and that the older experienced gymnasts outperformed all the other gymnasts on all phases of the experiments. These results are interpreted within the Ericsson and Kintsch (1995) theory of Long-term Working Memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-123
Number of pages23
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1999
Externally publishedYes


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