Age differences in memory retrieval shift: Governed by feeling-of-knowing?

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 )
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Abstract: The noun-pair lookup (NP) task was used to evaluate strategic shift from visual scanning to retrieval. We investigated whether age differences in feeling-of-knowing (FOK) account for older adults' delayed retrieval shift. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (1) standard NP learning, (2) fast binary FOK judgments, or (3) Choice, where participants had to choose in advance whether to see the look-up table or respond from memory. We found small age differences in FOK magnitudes but major age differences in memory retrieval choices that mirrored retrieval use in the standard NP task. Older adults showed lower resolution in their confidence judgments (CJs) for recognition memory tests on the NP items, and this difference appeared to influence rates of retrieval shift, given that retrieval use was correlated with CJ magnitudes in both age groups. Older adults had particular difficulty with accuracy and confidence for rearranged pairs, relative to intact pairs. Older adults' slowed retrieval shift appears to be attributable to (1) impaired associative learning early in practice, not just a lower FOK; but also (2) retrieval reluctance later in practice after the degree of associative learning would afford memory-based responding.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
age differences, aging, human information storage, memory, metacognition, associative processes, skill learning, strategy, psychology

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