Moderation of older adults’ retrieval reluctance through task instructions and monetary incentives

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dayna R. Touron, Professor of Psychology and Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Previous research using a noun-pair lookup task indicates that older adults delay strategy shift from visual scanning to memory retrieval despite adequate learning, and that this "retrieval reluctance" is related to subjective choice factors. Age differences in spontaneous response criteria, with older adults valuing accuracy and young adults valuing speed, might account for this phenomenon. The present experiment manipulates instructions and reward contingencies to test the flexibility of response criteria and strategy preferences. Task instructions conditions equally focused on speed and accuracy, encouraged retrieval use as a method toward fast responding, or offered monetary incentives for fast retrieval-based performance. Results indicate that older adults in the incentives condition shifted to retrieval earlier than those without incentives, bolstering the argument that reliance on retrieval is volitional.

Additional Information

Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 62B(3), 149-155
Language: English
Date: 2007
retrieval reluctance, older adults, associative learning, skill acquisition

Email this document to