ERIC Number: ED266344
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Adults' Event Recall: Is Context Enough?
Ratner, Hilary Horn; Padgett, Robert J.
In studies of retention of verbal material adults have repeatedly remembered less than younger adults have. A study was conducted which asked older adults to remember an experienced event, retention of experiences being considered a better indicator of functioning ability than retention of word lists. In an initial study, older adults' recall was found to be better in a meaningful context but was still not as good as the younger adults' recall. To test if better instructions would yield improved results, a follow-up study was conducted. Participants included 10 older adults aged 60-79 years from a college alumni association and 10 younger adults aged 18-20 from a college psychology class. Participants were told to make clay and then form shapes from it. Participants were informed that they would be asked to report everything they could remember about the procedure. A videotape was shown to illustrate the type of details to be remembered. Memory for four types of information was examined: superordinate and subordinate actions of clay-making and shape-making. The results indicated that only subordinate shape-making recall was lower for older adults than for younger adults. The organization of a meaningful context and additional instructions may have helped older adults' recall improvement in the second study. Further research should examine context-relevant memory although context support does not completely compensate for memory decline. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Aging (DHHS/PHS), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (38th, New Orleans, LA, November 22-26, 1985).