The effect of aging on the memory enhancement of the survival judgment task

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This study investigated whether or not aging affected the benefit of a survival judgment task. Sixteen young adults and 16 older adults participated in this experiment. In the survival task, participants were requested to judge whether a word was necessary or not in a survival situation. In the self-referent judgment task, participants were requested to judge how easily the word brings to mind an important personal experience. Participants in each condition were presented 18 concrete nouns at 4-s intervals. Our results showed that even though the survival judgment task enhanced the memory performance in both the young adults and the older adults, the young adults outperformed the older adults in the survival and self-referent judgment tasks.

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