ERIC Number: ED269647
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Qualitative Age Differences in Story Recall.
Adams, Cynthia; And Others
Resarch on discourse comprehension in adulthood has yielded inconsistent findings. Some studies have reported age-related differences in comprehsnion and recall while others have found no differences between younger and older adults. To examine the recall style of younger and older adults, a narrative was presented to 40 younger (mean age=18.73 years) and 39 older (mean age=65.67 years) adults. Following the presentation, subjects produced written responses about the narrative under one of four recall conditions: total recall, summary, gist, or gist and moral. Individual written responses were unitized and each unit was assigned to one of four categories: (1) listing of individual text-based information units; (2) integrations of textual information; (3) interpretations of the text; or (4) additions to the text-based information. The results indicated that there were qualitative differences in the types of responses exhibited by younger and older subjects. In general, across recall conditions, younger subjects tended to list or closely reproduce text information while older subjects tended to transform the text proper into "gist" as well as interpretive units of meaning. These results suggest that there may be qualitative changes from young to mature adulthood in the nature of the transformations of information which are most likely to be processed. From an adaptive perspective, as individuals age, their knowledge processing style may become more heuristic, analogical, and figurative. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Wayne State Univ., Detroit, MI. Inst. of Gerontology.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (38th, New Orleans, LA, November 22-26, 1985).