Patterns of resource allocation are reliable among younger and older readers

Elizabeth A.L. Stine-Morrow, Le'Ann Milinder, Olivia Pullara, Barbara Herman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Younger and older adults read short expository passages across 2 times of measurement for subsequent comprehension or recall. Regression analysis was used to decompose word-by-word reading times into resources allocated to word- and textbase-level processes. Readers were more sensitive to these demands when reading for recall than when reading for comprehension. Patterns of resource allocation showed good test-retest reliabilities and were predictive of memory performance. Within age group, resource allocation parameters were not systematically correlated with other individual-difference measures, suggesting that strategies of on-line resource allocation may be a unique source of individual differences in determining comprehension of and memory for text. Age differences in allocation patterns appeared to reflect general slowing among the older adults. Because older adults showed equivalent memory performance to that of younger readers, the reading time data may represent the on-line resource allocation needed for comparable outcomes among older and younger readers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-84
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology and aging
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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