Age differences in encoding specificity

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
William N. Dudley, Professor Public Health Education (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: In two experiments (one under full attention, the other under divided attention), old and young adults were presented with a cued recall task in an encoding specificity paradigm. Targets and associated cues were either pictures or matched words, and there was either a strong or weak semantic relationship between targets and cues. Additionally, cues presented at recall were either the same as or different from those presented at encoding, resulting in four encoding cue—retrieval cue combinations: (a) strong encoding cue and (same) strong retrieval cue; (b) weak encoding cue and (same) weak retrieval cue; (c) weak encoding cue and (different) strong retrieval cue; (d) strong encoding cue and (different) weak retrieval cue. For the most part, the results revealed strong encoding specificity effects for both age groups, as both old and young participants recalled more when the same cues were presented at encoding and retrieval than when different cues were presented. However, when elderly participants received verbal cues under divided attention conditions, evidence for general encoding rather than encoding specificity occurred. Results are discussed in terms of both the encoding specificity principle as well as a more process-oriented interpretation.

Additional Information

Journal of Gerontology,43(6), P145-50
Language: English
Date: 1988
Encoding specificity, Age differences

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