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ERIC Number: EJ904558
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
The Age Prospective Memory Paradox: Young Adults May Not Give Their Best outside of the Lab
Aberle, Ingo; Rendell, Peter G.; Rose, Nathan S.; McDaniel, Mark A.; Kliegel, Matthias
Developmental Psychology, v46 n6 p1444-1453 Nov 2010
Previous research has identified the age prospective memory paradox of age-related declines in laboratory settings in contrast to age benefits in naturalistic settings. Various factors are assumed to account for this paradox, yet empirical evidence on this issue is scarce. In 2 experiments, the present study examined the effect of task setting in a laboratory task and the effect of motivation in a naturalistic task on prospective memory performance in young and older adults. For the laboratory task (Experiment 1, n = 40), we used a board game to simulate a week of daily activities and varied features of the prospective memory task (e.g., task regularity). For the naturalistic task (Experiment 2, n = 80), we instructed participants to try to remember to contact the experimenter repeatedly over the course of 1 week. Results from the laboratory prospective memory tasks indicated significant age-related decline for irregular tasks (p = 0.006) but not for regular and focal tasks. In addition, in the naturalistic task, the age benefit was eliminated when young adults were motivated by incentives (F less than 1). In conclusion, the present results indicate that the variability of age differences in laboratory prospective memory tasks may be due in part to differences in the features of the prospective memory task. Furthermore, increases in motivation to perform the prospective task seem to help remedy prospective memory deficits in young adults in the naturalistic setting. (Contains 2 tables, 3 figures, and 5 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Switzerland