ERIC Number: ED191003
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Sep
Reference Count: 0
The Amount, Type, and Organization of Information Recalled from Prose by Young, Middle, and Old Adult Readers.
Meyer, Bonnie J. F.; Rice, G. Elizabeth
The effects of organizational variables on recall of prose were examined in 48 college-educated adults in three age groups (20 to 33 years, 41 to 55 years, and 58 to 79 years). It was hypothesized that if older adults suffered deficits in organizational processes, they would show lower quantities of prose recall, difficulties in following the text's top-level structure and diminished "levels effects" (information high in the hierarchical text structure is recalled better than information low in the hierarchy). Two experiments tested these implications, using a system of prose analysis to identify text structure. One study focused on age-related differences in the total amount of information remembered and the type of information remembered, while the second study determined whether older subjects exhibited differential recall of prose when the prose was organized according to different top-level structures. No age differences were found in total recall, recall of main ideas, nor use of the text's top-level structure. The young-adult group, however, did exhibit levels effects while the middle and older adult groups did not. The young-adult group recalled significantly more high-level information than low-level information. This difference was attributed to the effects of current schooling practices rather than to organizational or reading comprehension deficits in the aged. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (Montreal, Canada, September 1-5, 1980).