ERIC Number: ED276911
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Nov-19
Reference Count: 0
Everyday Memory: With Equal Practice Does Age Influence Forgetting in a Two Year Period?
Sinnott, Jan D.
Memory studies involving older adults have typically been conducted in laboratory settings and have usually employed experimental tasks. Most results support cognitive decline. Most naturalistic experimental studies relate to spatial memory and test younger respondents. When older respondents are tested, the old sometimes outperform and sometimes underperform the young. Practice has not always been controlled. The rate at which respondents forget has not been examined. A study was conducted to examine everyday memory by investigating adults' memory for their daily experiences as volunteer participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA). Subjects were 43 men and 36 women between the ages of 23 and 93 who took part in the BLSA. Younger and older respondents were given equal practice on everyday items and were tested three times within a 2-year period. Results demonstrated effects for time, with similar forgetting rates for young and old on almost all items. On two of three atypical items, the old forgot more slowly than did the young. These results suggest that for everyday memory items, at least, although absolute performance may be influenced by age and passage of time, the rate of forgetting may not be so influenced. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (39th, Chicago, IL, November 19-23, 1986).