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Recall of Objects

Normed for ages 4:0 to 17:11

This subtest assesses short term and immediate term verbal recall with an added visual component. It taps verbal encoding, rehearsal, and retrieval strategies. A child views a card containing pictures of 20 common objects for a specified period of time. After the card is removed from view, the child repeats back to the examiner, in any order, the items that he or she can remember. There is a total of three trials to learn the items, with the objects named for the child on the first trial. A Delayed Recall trial is administered 10 to 15 minutes later in the testing session with no cueing that the recall will be given.

The Recall of Objects subtest contains a total of 20 items. One point is awarded for each correctly recalled object. If the child clearly remembers the object but misnames it (e.g., rat for mouse) the response is scored as correct. This subtest does not employ any starting or stopping rules since all children take all three immediate recall trials. The single exception to this is for the child who correctly remembers all 20 items on both the first and second immediate recall trials. When this is the case, the third trial is not given, but the child is given 20 points for the third, un-adminstered trial (for a total of 60 points).

Factor analytic findings

The Recall of Objects subtest is considered a poor measure of g across all ages (for ages 4:0 to 5:11 r = .27, for ages 6:0 to 17:11 r = .35). Specificity is ample for all age groups 4:0 to 17:11.

Reliability and correlational highlights

Recall of Objects is considered to possess low overall reliability (r = .74), with reliability coefficients ranging from .66 to .83 across all of the age groups. It has low correlations with all other subtests (mean r =.26) in the battery with the exception of Recall of Objects-delayed recall (r = .68).

Gf-Gc classification

In the Broad stratum definition of abilities, Recall of Objects is considered to be a logical secondary measure of both Long-term Storage and Retrieval (Glr) and Visual Processing (Gv). In the Narrow stratum of abilities, it is considered to be a probable measure of Free Recall Memory (M6) and a possible measure of Visual Memory (MV). (McGrew & Flanagan, 1998, p. 104).

Administrative and interpretive considerations

The Recall of Objects subtest is described on pages 86 to 88 as well as on pages 207 to 209 in the DAS Administration and Scoring Manual and discussed on pages 67 and 68 in the DAS Introductory and Technical Handbook. If for some reason, one of the three trials is spoiled or unscorable, examiners may estimate the three-trial score by multiplying the sum of the two trials by 1.5, and rounding the result up to a whole number.

Note that the exposure times for the three immediate trials is 60, 20, and 20 seconds respectively. On the first trial, while the directions are being given to the child and the examiner is naming the pictures, the pictures are exposed to the child. For the second and third trials, the directions are given before the card is exposed.

The Delayed-recall trial should be administered after at least a 10-, but no more than 30-minute delay. Care should be taken to administer this subtest in the sequence presented in the record form. This will assure that the intervening subtests are not likely to interfere with the content of the Recall of Objects subtest.

Do not interpret the delayed-recall score unless there is at least a 14-point T score difference between the Immediate- and Delayed-Recall scores (this difference would indicate significance at the p <.10 level).

It may at times be useful to item analyze the objects recalled on each trial to develop some hypothesis about the strategies that the child is employing to remember the objects. Does the child remember them in the same order in which they are presented, or does the child clump them into categories? Does the child use an inefficient "replacement" strategy in which he or she forgets the items from one trial in order to remember the new items in another trial?

Examiners can accelerate recording by omitting vowels and using other abbreviations. Be sure to distinguish clearly between "ball" and "bowl." Be careful not to give credit for items repeated (perhaps with different names, e.g., "rat" and "mouse") on a single trial. However, if the child asks if it is all right to repeat words, briefly and quietly reassure the child that it does not matter.

The Manual may cause some trouble because it lists, in the tables for converting ability scores to T scores, the column entries for Recall of Digits after the columns for Recall of Objects. This is opposite to the order in which the subtest scores appear on the protocol summary form. Consequently, examiners must be alert to avoid the mistake of entering the wrong column when starting with Recall of Digits. Also the Record Form places the Raw Score to Ability Score conversion table for the Immediate trials next to the box for recording the child's responses on the Delayed trial. Examiners must be careful not to enter the conversion table for the Immediate trials with the raw score from the Delayed trial.

The Manual and Record form give time limits for the student's responses on the Immediate (60, 40, and 40 seconds, respectively) and Delayed (60 seconds) trials. If the child is still recalling additional items at the time limit, you should allow the child to finish. Mark the number of items recalled within the time limit, but continue recording additional items. Since the test is a measure of recall, but not necessarily a test of speeded recall, allowing a child to continue beyond the time limits affords the examiner additional information about memory storage and memory retrieval.

Recall of Objects Recall of Digits Recognition of Pictures
Speed of Information Processing Matching Letter-Like Forms
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