ERIC Number: ED246349
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Visual and Acoustic Encoding in Young and Old Adults.
Clarkson-Smith, Louise; Halpern, Diane F.
Earlier research (Thorson, et al., 1976) found that latencies increase for acoustically confusable letter pairs and decrease for visually confusable letter pairs as a positive function of interstimulus interval (ISI). To extend these findings to different age groups, 30 young adults (mean age, 21.4 years) and 30 older adults (mean age, 68.8 years) compared the same pairs of visually and acoustically confusable letters, with a varying ISI between 0.0 and 2.5 seconds, at 0.5 second intervals. An analysis of the results showed fewer errors for the young adults than for the older adults. For ISIs above 0.0, slope for young adults was almost flat and ISIs were similar for both conditions of confusability. Latencies for older adults were longer for visually than for acoustically confusable letters at ISIs less than 2.5 seconds. These findings support acoustic encoding as an optional process and suggest that older people retain information in a visual code rather than transferring it to an acoustic code. Young adults appear able to select the appropriate code at all intervals. (Author/BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association (64th, Los Angeles, CA, April 5-8, 1984). Best copy available.