ERIC Number: ED195673
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
A Contextual View of Adult Learning and Memory.
Glynn, Shawn M.
Explanations of age-related differences in adult memory usually assume two forms: processing deficits and structural deficits. Processing deficit explanations attribute recall differences to a failure of older adults to effectively use the processes of attention, organization, mediation (the use of such devices as visual images and verbal images and verbal expressions to link meaningful bits of information into integrated memorable whole), and elaboration (the use of a levels-of-processing approach for encoding bits of information in a systematic hierarchical fashion). Structural deficit explanations attribute differences to speed and capacity limitations associated with age-related changes in the central nervous system. Findings of discourse-learning studies suggest that characteristics of the adult learner interact with characteristics of the material to determine recall outcomes. Sex and educational background of older adults influence recall scores. It is possible that part of the observed age-related recall difference is due to metacognitive factors. (Metacognition is the general knowledge that guides selection and implementation of task-specific operations.) While older adults may fail to integrate seemingly trivial facts, they integrate meaningful new knowledge with existing related knowledge, ensuring high levels of recall. Activation of existing knowledge may help to moderate recall deficits in older adults. (Author/MN)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the American Psychological Association Meeting (Montreal, Quebec, September 1980).