Young and old subjects were tested on their memory for paired-associate terms when cued with either facilitative or misleading word stems. After studying a long list of pairs of unrelated words (e.g., hair-turtle), recall of a particular target term was cued in a facilitative manner (hair-tu-) or a misleading manner (hair-ta-). The effects of these cues were assessed relative to a baseline condition in which levels of performance lay between the other two (hair-t-). To interpret the age-related effects of the facilitative and misleading cues relative to baseline, the variance in differences between the baseline and the experimental conditions related to the overall baseline level was factored out, and age-related differences as a function of cue were assessed on the remaining variability. This analysis revealed that the two age groups differed both in their ability to overcome the adverse effects of the misleading cue and also to take advantage of the benefits afforded by the facilitative cue. This combination of results is consistent with the view that aging results in a loss of general strategic control, and not specifically inhibitory control, over the effects of retrieval cues.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Geriatrics and Gerontology