Cue utilization and encoding specificity in picture recognition by older adults

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: According to the encoding specificity principle, memory is best when encoding and retrieval conditions are compatible. Some researchers have suggested that older adults encode information in a general fashion and are less sensitive to the specific contextual aspects of a memory situation due to limited processing resources. We investigated the hypothesis that age interacts with encoding specificity. Young and old adults studied target pictures in the presence or absence of pictorial cues factorially varied at encoding and retrieval. If the older adults used the specific cuing information differently from the younger adults, age should have interacted with the encoding and retrieval variables. The results provided no evidence for such an interaction and indicated that both ages showed evidence of encoding specificity. To investigate the role of processing resources in encoding specificity, old and young adults also studied the pictures while simultaneously performing a digit-monitoring task. The divided-attention manipulation also did not interact with age, as both young and old adults showed encoding specificity effects of comparable magnitude in both control and divided-attention conditions.

Additional Information

Journal of Gerontology, 42(4), 423-5
Language: English
Date: 1987
Encoding specificity, Cue utilization, Picture recognition, Older adults

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