ERIC Number: ED176857
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Metamemory in the Aged.
Murphy, Martin D.; And Others
Deficits involving metamemory (knowledge about memory) were investigated for elderly individuals in unfamiliar laboratory tasks. In Experiment I, 23 college age subjects and 23 active, community dwelling elderly subjects, roughly matched on socioeconomic status, were given a picture span estimation task, a test of actual span, and then a recall readiness task. In the recall readiness phase, each subject was given subspan (span minus 2), span, and supraspan (span plus 2) lists of pictures and told to take as much time as needed to insure accurate serial recall. The community dwelling elderly individuals were found to recall span and supraspan length lists more poorly than young subjects. The elderly also took considerably less time for study (in the supraspan condition, 30 seconds as opposed to 59 seconds for the young subjects). In Experiment II, prompting a chunking-rehearsal strategy led to somewhat improved performance in the elderly, but merely requiring the elderly to take sufficient time for study led to virtually perfect recall. The data suggest that the older adults were not strategy deficient, but rather may have failed to monitor their readiness to recall so that they did not know how long to study. Since metamemory deficits do appear in laboratory-type tasks, such deficits may, at least in part, account for the frequent poor performance of the elderly in such situations. (Author/JMB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Administration on Aging (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Akron Univ., OH. Dept. of Psychology.
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (San Francisco, California, March 15-18, 1979)