Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Bruce Hunsberger

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Previous research has indicated a developmental tendency toward greater repetition choice and recall of interrupted tasks than for completed tasks. The present study investigated this relationship and the possibility that observing versus performing a task might have differential effects on recall and repetition choice. Thirteen ten year old and eleven year old boys (performers) individually assembled eighteen jig-saw puzzles of birds and animals. Twenty-four peers of the same age (observers) observers puzzle assembly. Contrary to previous research, no significant tendency was found for older participants to recall and to choose to repeat more interrupted tasks than for younger participants. However, observers revelaed a significantly greater tendency than performers to chose to repeat interrupted tasks. No comparable difference was apparent for recall scores. These results are discussed in the context of numerous problems apparent in previous research. Implications for future research using the interrupted task paradigm are also considered.

Convocation Year