Depth and elaboration of processing in relation to age

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Processing at encoding and retrieval was jointly manipulated, and then the retrieval effectiveness of different cues was directly compared to uncover the relative pattern of deep and elaborate processing in relation to both age and different experimental manipulations in 67 Ss in 3 age groups (mean ages 24.1, 42.7, and 65.6 yrs). In Exp I phonemic and semantic cues were effective retrieval aids for to-be-remembered words in the youngest group; with increasing age, semantic cues decreased in effectiveness more than phonemic cues. These data show phonemic features to have an importance that is not recognized in the data generated by the typical levels paradigm. When elaboration of the words was induced in Exp II by presenting them in sentences, semantic and context cues were most effective in the youngest group whereas phonemic cues were most effective in the oldest group. It is concluded from this that aging results in inefficient integration of words with the context of presentation. The aging effects were mimicked in young Ss in Exp III by restricting encoding time. (22 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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